LEICESTER, Mass. – The Elms College men's soccer team secured a coveted conference road win on Saturday, going to Becker and coming away with a 2-0 win to improve to 2-1 in the New England Collegiate Conference.
The first half was hotly contested throughout. In the 37th minute, Becker committed a foul on their end of the field. Senior defender Anthony Romei (Enfield, Conn. / Enfield) took a free kick from the right side, 20 yards out, and found the foot of freshman forward Kavan Henry (Springfield, Mass. / Putnam Vocational), whose ball kissed the crossbar and went high.
Becker saw a scoring opportunity late in the half when freshman forward Isaiah McCaskill (Springfield, Mass. / Springfield Renaissance) beat his defender on the right side, crossing to an open freshman forward Juma Kombe (Leominster, Mass. / Leominster) who drilled the ball at the net, only to be blocked by an Elms defender. The score remained 0-0 heading into the second frame. Elms held an 11-6 edge on the hosts in the first half.
The Blazers finally broke through in the 53rd minute when Henry broke through on the left side and hit a perfect cross to junior forward Babba Jaden (Clarkston, Ga. / Fugees Academy) for Jaden's fourth goal of the season as Elms went up 1-0. Less than two minutes later, the duo repeated the same feat from the right side as Jaden found Henry in the middle for the rookie's second career goal. The Blazers took a 2-0 lead.
With 20 minutes remaining in regulation, the Hawks squandered a golden chance when McCaskill exploded up the field on a breakaway and caught the keeper out of position trying to field the ball. But the ball got away from McCaskill, rolling right of the net as Elms continued to lead by a deuce.
That would hold up as the final score.
Elms had a 28-9 edge in shots, with an 11-4 edge in shots-on-goal. Each team took six corner kicks on the day. Elms goalkeeper AJ Oliveira (Beacon Falls, Conn.) earned the shutout with four saves.
The Blazers play their next game next Saturday, October 6th when they host Lesley University at 12:00 p.m. in NECC action. The Hawks are back on the field on Friday, October 5th when they travel to Eastern Nazarene College for a 7:00 p.m. conference game.