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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Beacons Hit Stride at the Right Time

The University of Massachusetts Boston Beacons Men’s Soccer team entered this 2017 season with plenty of highs. The team reached the Sweet 16 of last year’s NCAA Division III tournament, earning their first tournament victories along the way, after going out in the first round in the previous two years. With that success came lofty expectations for the coming year, evidenced by its number 15 ranking in the United Soccer Coaches poll. While they’ve come slow out of the gate, they have started to gain the championship form that has come to define Beacons soccer for the past three years.
Opening the season and month of September, the team traveled to Virginia to take on Roanoke College and Lynchburg College. The Beacons settled for draws in both contests, with Marcelo Cunha scoring the Beacons’ very first goal of the season in the second game. Upon returning to their home field, they once again found their scoring groove. The team opened their home slate at Boston College High School with a dominant 4-0 win over Colby-Sawyer College, powered by a brace from Giovanni Lima, and further supported by scores from Jake Davenport and Eric Murakami.
Wentworth Institute of Technology would be the Beacons’ next victim of their attack; despite being held at 1-1, thanks to a Joe Kalil strike for the Leopards, the Beacons eventually overwhelmed their defense with goals from Lima, Yuran Teixeira, and Daniel Morales to supplement the first goal from Denis Martinez, highlighting the depth of their forwards and midfielders. Their successful fortunes would come to a halt, however, in their next home game, the Little East Conference opener with Keene State College. Despite putting up a 20-8 advantage in shots, the attacking offense would come out empty-handed, as the Owls would prevail in double-overtime, 1-0.
Fueled with renewed urgency, the Beacons took their frustrations out in the next two games against Worcester State College and Little East Conference member Plymouth State University. The Beacons prevailed in the first game with three of their four goals scored off corner kicks, with each of the goals all scored by a different player. A 3-0 win followed the next game against the PSU Panthers, the balanced scoring showing up again on the sheet, with three different players scoring goals.
With a delicious LEC title game rematch with Rhode Island College looming, it was seen that the next home date with Bridgewater State University would be a trap game, and those concerns would come to light in the 2-0 defeat at BC High. Ultimately, though, the Beacons would still have the Anchormen’s number. A 2-1 win in overtime thanks to the first goal of the year from Raffi DeSouza capped off the month of September and the first half of the season. Of the team’s 18 goals scored this year, they have been distributed among 10 players. Davenport leads the team in that department, with four of those strikes. Morales has served as the Beacons’ top play maker, with six assists to add to his pair of goals scored so far in the year.
The Beacons are now in a dogfight for first place in the LEC. The Owls of Keene State lead the way with five points, and the Beacons are tied with three other schools for second place, just one point separating them from the Owls. One of the schools in second place, Western Connecticut State University, ends the season with the Beacons in late October; that game could be huge for both schools as far as seeding goes for the LEC tournament. Home field has proven especially vital for the Beacons, with all of their title game wins since 2014 having come on their designated home pitch. Consistency will be the key for the Beacons to ensure a fourth straight LEC championship and subsequent NCAA berth.