Junior goalkeeper Mike Phelan
WILLIMANTIC, CT-Carl Stensland and Mitch Power scored two goals each and Zach Kice added three assists as host Eastern Connecticut State defeated the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's soccer team, 4-0, in their Little East Conference semi-final playoff match at Nevers Field Wednesday.
Stensland staked the Warriors to a 2-0 halftime lead. He opened the scoring with an unassisted goal in the 12th minute, then made it 2-0 in the 30th minute when he converted passes from Kice and Nick Demo.
Mitch Power scored the first of his two goals in the 72nd minute, assisted by Kice to make it 3-0. He scored again in the 82nd minute, assisted by Zach DeCasanova and Kice, to account for the final score.
"The first goal came about as a result of a mistake on our part, it was just a weird goal, and form that point on, we didn't handle it that well," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Henry Almeida."Unfortunately, we couldn't get out of the first half without giving up a second goal, and we couldn't catch up from there. We couldn't get anything going offensively, and the better team won today."
Despite the defeat, Almeida said that the season was definitely a successful one. "For a young team without any seniors, we took a big step this year," said Almeida. "We had some great moments, beating Roger Williams at Roger Williams and beating Eastern Connecticut at home. We were recognized by the conference, and the future is very bright. Although the season didn't end the way we wanted it to, we had a very good year."
Each team had nine shots. ECSU goalkeeper Carl Appel made four saves, while junior goalkeeper Mike Phelan (Carver, MA/Carver HS) was not credited with any saves for UMD..
UMass Dartmouth dropped to 11-7-1 with the defeat, while Eastern Connecticut improved to 13-5-1 with the victory. Eastern Connecticut will host the winner of tonight's match between Rhode Island College and Keene State Saturday in the LEC championship match. The match marked the final action of the season for UMass Dartmouth.