WESTFIELD, Mass. – With playoff seeding on the line, Westfield State and Salem State battled to a 1-1 tie in the final conference game of the season in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference men's soccer at Alumni Field on Friday night.
Salem State tallied first in the match in the 37th minute, as Gabriel Meireles (Everett, Mass.) took a pass from Lucas Ameral (Peabody), two-touched the ball near the right side of the penalty area and blasted a shot inside the far post.
Westfield had a slew of scoring opportunities in the first 10 minutes of the first half, including a header from Brodie Keene (Agawam) that had Salem goalkeeper Christopher Jiminez (Nashua South/Nashua, N.H.) beat, but defender Damon Deocleciano (Lowell) blocked the shot with his chest on the goal line.
The Owls finally tallied in the 72nd minute, as they were awarded a penalty kick after a takedown in the penalty area. Owls' sophomore Ryan Morais (Uxbridge) stepped up and buried the PK to tie the match at 1-1.
Westfield lost goalkeeper Tyler Diotalevi (Ludlow) to a red card after a collision in the 98th minute of play. Reserve goalkeeper Nick Chambers (Southwick) came in and made a save on the only shot he faced to preserve the tie.
Westfield had one glowing chance in the second overtime as the Owls played a long through ball to senior forward Legend Mu'Min (Central/Springfield, Mass.) who ran onto the ball and fired a shot that Jiminez saved at point blank range as he came out to challenge.
Westfield is now 5-5-4 after the draw and 3-1-3 in MASCAC play. Salem State is 11-3-3 overall and 4-1-2 in the MASCAC. The two teams await playoff seeding news later tonight or early tomorrow.
Westfield held an 11-8 edge in shots on goal, and a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Jiminez finished with eight saves for Salem, while Diotalevi made six saves for the Owls in 98 minutes.
The game, originally scheduled for Saturday, was pushed up due to the Nor'easter storm slated to hit the area on Saturday. Westfield honored its six seniors before the game. Mu'min, Keene, Dave Serafino (Ludlow), Jimmy Murphy (Wilmington), Kieran Moriarty (West Springfield) and Josh Baillargeon (Gateway/Russell, Mass.) were recognized along with their families.