WORCESTER, Mass. - The Worcester State men's soccer team outlasted Westfield State 5-4 in penalty kicks to advance in Tuesday night's Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Quarterfinal at Coughlin Field.
The defenses held strong over the game's first 90 minutes and two overtime periods. Both teams had a few opportunities to score, but neither could find the back of the net. The score remained 0-0 through regulation and stayed that way through two overtime periods. The Owls outshot the Lancers 16-9.
The crowd was on their feet ready for the shootout. While both teams struggled to find the back of the net during play they had no trouble finding it during penalty kicks.
For the Lancers, Jack Kellard (St. Albans, England), Bryan Brasil (Williamsburg, Mass.), Justin Echeverry (Methuen, Mass.), Cyrus Raines (Belchertown, Mass.), Ethan Melia (Shrewsbury, Mass.) all made their five shots during the shootout, each with their own flair. The Owls lined up Ryan Morais (Uxbridge, Mass.), Legend Mu'min (Springfield, Mass.), Sinha Kunphel (South Yarmouth, Mass.), Paul Soucy (Acushnet, Mass.) and Ian Jalbert (Avon, Conn.) to take the shots. Jalbert sailed one over the crossbar and when Melia's converted his shot the Lancers advanced to the MASCAC Semifinals.
Worcester State's Henri Guilmette (Franklin, Mass.) held strong for the Lancers making six saves over the course of the night, five coming in the first half. Griffin Brown (Southborough, Mass.) recorded four saves for the Owls over the course of the night keeping the score even through 110 minutes.
With the shootout win, the Lancers advance to the MASCAC Semifinals, set for Friday evening at Framingham State University to kick off at 6pm. Even though the Lancers took the win and advance to the semifinals statistically the game will be recorded as a tie in the record books. Worcester State's record moves to 7-8-3 and Westfield State closes their season 5-5-5.
The entire season has been a statistical oddity for the Owls, who ended up the fifth seed in the conference tournament by virtue of the point system. The Owls finished 3-1-3 regular season conference play, and added a tie tonight, ultimately having lost one game in eight matches within the league.