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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston Soccer Recap


Beacons sophomore goalkeeper, Gigi Braga.

The University of Massachusetts Boston soccer teams provided very exciting 2016 seasons. They came into the 2017 season looking to improve and give Beacons fans plenty to cheer for.
The Men’s Soccer team entered the season ranked fifteenth in the national rankings and were picked as favorites to win the Little East Conference (LEC) title this season. The team had a very promising squad that saw 17 returning players. Among the most notable are senior All-American defender Marcelo Cunha and goalkeeper Omar Castro-Dreher. Cunha was part of last year’s defense, which only allowed sixteen goals and held ten shutouts over twenty-three games. Castro-Dreher was a crucial part of this success, as he had a record of 13-1-2 as the keeper in net.
Although the Beacons defenders were phenomenal, the 2016 offense was also impressive. The team turned 223 shots on target into 72 goals. Of these goals, 56 were assisted. The team was successful in creating scoring chances but, unfortunately, only has one returning player from last season’s top four goal scorers. Midfielder Daniel Morales will be heavily relied upon to provide scoring power for the Beacons this season. The team’s expectations are high, as these players were part of the program’s regular season run that ended with an historic mark of 18-2-3. This was the best record in the team’s history, but the impressive season ended in a sweet sixteen defeat to Tufts University.

The men’s team started their 2017 season hunt for a fourth straight LEC title and another shot in the NCAA tournament in Virginia, as they played in the Shellenberger Classic. The opening game ended in a 0-0 draw against Roanoke College. The game was played in a downpour, and was even halted for a break due to lighting. The Beacons had a chance to win the game late, but junior Guilherme Barbosa’s effort ended with a shot off the crossbar. Next, UMass Boston played host against nineteenth-ranked Lynchburg College. This game also ended in a tie, but senior Marcelo Cunha scored the team’s first goal of the season in the contest. Lynchburg played very aggressive offense, outshooting the Beacons 20-7. The host had many opportunities to seal a victory, but Castro-Dreher played a huge match in net to hold the game to a draw.
For the first match in New England, the Beacons visited Colby-Sawyer College. After struggling to generate goals in Virginia, the Beacons showed their fire power by tallying 16 shots throughout the game. In the first half, UMass Boston scored three quick goals in a span of six minutes, capping the game with a 4-0 win. The men’s team continued to display their strong offensive capabilities in a 4-1 win against Wentworth Institute of Technology, but had their undefeated streak end with a 1-0 loss to Keene State College. The game looked to be headed for a draw, but after a defensive lapse by the Beacons, Keene State’s Donovan Harris scored the game-winning goal with just one minute left on the clock.
Next, the team bounced back with a 4-2 victory over Worcester State University. The Beacons jumped to a 2-0 lead, but Worcester tied the game before the first half ended. In the second half, UMass Boston tacked on two more goals to secure the win. All four goals were scored by different players, so it was a true team effort for this victory.
After the stunning loss to Keene State, the men’s team fell out of the top twenty-five in national rankings, but will surely be climbing back up in the coming games.

On the other hand, the Women’s Soccer team has not had a positive start to this season. So far, they are still searching for their first win, with a record of 0-6. In their opening match, the team was outperformed by Johnson and Wales University in a one-sided 6-1 loss. Senior Kerri Alexander scored the lone goal and only highlight for the Beacons.
Next, the women’s team traveled to Middletown, Connecticut for a game against Wesleyan University. The Beacons could only manage one shot on target the entire match and suffered a 3-0 defeat. The Beacons continued their road trip into Bristol, Rhode Island, where they faced Roger Williams University. It was not a good showing for the team, as they suffered their second five-goal defeat in just three games, leaving with a 5-0 loss. The team was not able to stop the losing streak and registered a 3-0 defeat to Babson College. Notably, starting goalkeeper Maranda Caruso left the game in the first half due to an injury, and was replaced by sophomore Gigi Braga.
Since then, the Beacons have suffered a pair of one-goal defeats, with a 1-0 loss to Keene State and a 2-1 loss to Emmanuel College. The women’s team has a long season ahead, and with just a single defeat in conference play, they can still have a positive 2017 campaign.