SOCCER: Merrimack men take down Assumption on the road

WORCESTER, Mass. – Junior midfielder Connor O’Brien (Sandwich, Mass.) knocked home a rebound in the 74th minute as the Merrimack College men’s soccer team picked up a road win, 1-0, over Assumption College from the Multi-Sport Stadium on Tuesday night.

The Basics
Score: Merrimack 1
, Assumption 0
Records: Merrimack (8-2-2, 4-2-2 NE-10)
 | Assumption (2-8-3, 2-3-3 NE-10)
Location:
 Multi-Sport Stadium | Worcester, Mass.

What They Said
Head coach Tony Martone: “Assumption plays a strong defensive system and limited our chances tonight. I’m happy for Connor to get us the win, a game we needed to have after the last few games. Time to retool for a talented Franklin Pierce squad on Saturday.”

How It Happened
It was another tight contest between the Warriors and Grehounds, who nearly played to a 0-0 draw last season before a game-winner in overtime for sophomore Michael Dushman (Bedford, Mass.).

There were a few lineup changes for the Warriors as senior Augusto Silva (Hudson, Mass.) and junior Joseph Briers (Nottingham, England) returned to starting lineup. Both players came on as reserves against Southern Connecticut State on Saturday.

The Warriors outshot the Greyhounds by five in the opening half, recording two attempts on goal in the first ten minutes that were saved by Dana King of Assumption. Sophomore goalkeeper Lucas Rezende (Weymouth, Mass.) picked up his lone save of the opening stanza in the 22nd minute.

The action quieted down over the final 20 minutes of the half, with King picking up one more save on junior Jaime Cortes Torres (Seville, Spain) in the 41st minute. As they did last year in North Andover, the two programs went into halftime knotted at 0-0.

King stepped up again for the hosts to begin the final 45 minutes, making his fourth save of the night on Silva less than three minutes into the second half. A 63rd-minute stop on Briers kept the game scoreless as well.

The Warriors finally converted in the 74th minute. After a flurry of action in front, O’Brien connected on the eventual game-winner, recording his first goal of the season and first-ever of the game-winning variety.

Assumption’s leading scorer Ethan Morrow connected on one last chance in the 88th minute, but it was stopped by Rezende who picked up his second clean sheet of the season in the victory. The Warriors improved to 4-2-2 in conference play, moving into fifth place in the NE-10 standings with 14 points.

Inside The Numbers

  • O’Brien’s goal marked his first-ever in NE-10 play and second of his career. The tally ended a 30-game goalless drought for the junior who has started 11 of 12 games this season, and has seen the most playing time of his three-year career
  • Rezende picked up a shutout against Assumption for the second straight year and now has three clean sheets in 13 career starts
  • The Warriors outshot the Grehounds by six, 10-4, but the hosts recorded three more corner kicks than the Navy and Gold (4-1).
  • Three bookings were handed out in the second half, all to Merrimack, as Briers, Juan Meza (Cali, Colombia) and Mattia Lanzi (Viterbo, Italy) all picked up yellow cards

Up Next
Merrimack comes home Saturday for its second-to-last game at Martone-Mejail Field during the regular season as the Warriors host Franklin Pierce as part of Homecoming Weekend at 6 p.m.

About Mike McMahon 6234 Articles
Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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