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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Beacons Blind Lions in Season Opener

Photo By Kory Vergets
Photo By Kory Vergets

It was a sunny September Saturday, a great day for soccer. And fittingly the UMass Boston men’s soccer team hosted their non-conference season opener against the Emerson College Lions. The Beacons didn’t waste any time, as they pounced on the Lions quickly. At only 1:55 into the first half freshman midfielder Mike Reda found freshman forward Maynor Sanchez. This was a pair of firsts; Sanchez’s first collegiate goal as well as the Beacons’ first goal of the 2003 season. There was no other scoring done in the first half, still, the battle ensued.

At 9:53 into the first half UMass Boston goalkeeper, Michael Tady, a 2-year varsity letter-winning senior from Coal Valley, IL, demonstrated why he was the man protecting the Beacons’ goal. He made a spectacular diving save to his left and maintained the Beacons’ 1-0 lead. Tady further backed up his job placement at 39:51 in the first half by stopping a one-on-one challenge that was brought on by an Emerson forward. Other highlights of the first half consisted of freshman forward Tony Moreno’s half-length of the field break away that was disturbed by two Emerson defenders as well as the Emerson goalkeeper.

The first half of this contest was quite physical and several fouls went uncalled. As result, many of the Emerson College players voiced their dissatisfaction with the officiating, yet more than just officiating plagued the Emerson team. Three successive scoring opportunities were cut short by offside calls against the Lions.

In the second half the Beacons turned it up a notch and once again got to work quickly. Matt Romano, a varsity letter-wearing sophomore defender, punched in the Beacon’s second goal off the assist pass from #9, James Ocampo, also a varsity lettering sophomore. UMass wasn’t about wasting time, whatsoever, on Saturday, as they put another point on the board less than five minutes later. This one came as a result of good ball handling by #15, Roger Lau, and the assist pass of James Ocampo. The third goal was credited to Alejandro Lopez a junior mid-fielder representing East Boston, Mass. Lopez is a two-time varsity letterer, who went to North Cambridge Catholic.

While this was a day where the Beacons demonstrated their offensive abilities there was no lack of defense. Along with the excellent outing by Tady, Chris Curtin made a save when Tady had been pulled out of the net. Curtin, from Ocala, Florida, is one of the few out-of-state players on this year’s squad. Also noteworthy was the excitement of freshman Gary J. George’s only near-missing header shot on goal, which came off a corner kick. Sanchez put the nail in the coffin with only 1:18 left to play as he sent the exclamation mark as well as his second collegiate goal high into the far corner, way out of reach of the Emerson keeper.

Unfortunately, perfection is sometimes unobtainable. The Beacons’ shutout opener was spoiled by Emerson’s sole goal, which came off a penalty shot with nearly no time left on the clock. Nevertheless, the Beacons’ play improved throughout the game as they made crisper and more precise passes, and didn’t let the Lions passed mid-field quite as often. Additionally, the Beacons out shot the Lions 27-13.

“I was happy with the way the guys played. Emerson is a solid team that is well coached. Our guys have been working hard and…. it was a nice outcome for a home opener,” said Coach Myles Berry.