Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's soccer team suffered a 4-1 setback to visiting Dean College in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) clash at Leary Field Saturday afternoon. The Blazers wrap the regular season with a 7-11 mark, and 5-2 record in conference play, while the Bulldogs closed their season with a 14-1-2 overall, and 6-1 in NECC action.
The Bulldogs had an opportunity to break a scoreless tie in the 13th minute as freshman Cristiano Martins (Brockton, Mass.) was taken down on a run to goal, resulting in a penalty kick for Dean. On the ensuing attempt, Elms freshman keeper A.J. Oliviera (Beacon Falls, Conn.) made a clutch diving save on a shot from Dean freshman Felipe Campos (Barnstable, Mass.) to preserve the clean scoreboard.
In the 30th minute of play, the Bulldogs broke through as Martins fired home a through ball from sophomore Santiago Cardona (Revere, Mass.) to hand Dean the 1-0 lead. Just over six minutes later, misfortune struck the Blazers again as a light foul in the box put the Bulldogs on another penalty kick. Campos beat Oliviera to the right side in his redemption effort to extend the Dean lead to 2-0. The Bulldogs carried the 2-0 lead into halftime.
With 17:13 remaining, the Blazers cracked the scoreboard as senior Blake Fry (Natick, Mass.) pick-pocketed a Dean defender in the Bulldogs zone, and played a ball to the front of the net, where sophomore Babba Jaden (Clarkston, Ga.) dribbled around a defender and ripped a shot inside the far post to trim the deficit to 2-1.
In the 79th minute, the Bulldogs rebuilt a two-goal gap as senior Pepe Vieira (Brockton, Mass.) found Campos at the top of the box, and Campos launched a long shot into the upper corner of the net, extending the Dean advantage to 3-1. Less than two minutes later, the Bulldogs added an insurance goal as Cardona played a ball to Vieira just outside the box, and Vieira ripped a shot from 22 yards out to send Dean to the 4-1 lead.
The Bulldogs controlled the shot column, 14-5, during the contest. Oliviera posted three saves for the Blazers, while Dean freshman Nathan Silviera (East Providence, R.I.) collected four saves in the win.
Prior to the match, the Blazers honored their five departing seniors Kahlil Peters (Hartford, Conn.), Mike DiPasquale (Meriden, Conn.), Fry, C.J. Dabkowski (Bristol, Conn.), and Justin Kassouf (Milford, Conn.) for their hard work and dedication to the program.
The Blazers will return to the pitch in the NECC Men's Soccer Championship Tournament next week. Dean has wrapped up their 2017 season.