BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – Freshman Aasmund Joedahl (Ridabu, Norway) scored with less than three minutes remaining in overtime of Thursday's NCAA First Round contest pitting the No. 5 Merrimack College men's soccer team against No. 4 Franklin Pierce, sending the Warriors to the second round. The Navy and Gold will play No. 1 and top-seeded LIU Post on Saturday with a berth in the regional final on the line.
Score: #5 Merrimack 3, #4 Franklin Pierce 2
Records: Merrimack (15-5) | Franklin Pierce (12-6)
Location: Pioneer Soccer Park | Brookville N.Y.
NCAA East Regional:
The two remaining programs following the first and second rounds will meet next week in the regional final. Top-seeded LIU Post is the two-time defending regional champions.
First Round (Thursday, Nov. 10):
Match 1: #5 Merrimack def. #4 Franklin Pierce, 3-2
Match 2: #6 Southern New Hampshire vs. #3 Le Moyne, 4 p.m.
Second Round (Saturday, Nov. 12):
Match 3: #5 Merrimack vs. #1 LIU Post, 1 p.m.
Match 4: Winner of Match 2 vs. #2 Adelphi, 4 p.m.
How It Happened
- 3' – Franklin Pierce struck the day's first chance on a set piece just a few yards outside the box. The direct free kick sailed over the head of sophomore Tyler Packett (Eastham, Mass.) and out of play
- 7' – Junior Juan Meza (Cali, Colombia) broke in on a partial breakaway, but Franklin Pierce's center back tracked back to break up the chance
- 21' – Senior Alexander Alleyne (Swampscott, Mass.) put Merrimack on the board first. After a through ball intended for Jaime Cortes Torres (Seville, Spain) deflected off a Ravens defender, Alleyne ran on to the ball and slotted a right-footed shot into the side netting
- 34' – Marius Preber, Franklin Pierce's striker and leading goal scorer, broke in all alone on sophomore Tyler Packett (Eastham, Mass.), but the Warriors keeper came off his line and made a sliding stop
- 36' – Minutes later, the Warriors doubled their lead. Senior right back Connor O'Brien (Sandwich, Mass.) struck a long ball into the box, where an unmarked Lars Sund (Stavanger, Norway) chested it down and scored on a right-footed touch
- 56' – Senior midfielder Oscar Zepeda Cagide (Jalisco, Mexico) connected on a right-footed cross 11 minutes into the second stanza, but it was saved at the far post
- 63' – Franklin Pierce cut its deficit in half midway through the second stanza. A right-footed shot from outside the box reached the side netting, out of the reach of Packett
- 70' – Senior center back Joseph Briers (Nottingham, England) hit a volley following a free kick from Alleyne the rose high and out of play
- 81' – The Ravens tied the game with less than ten minutes to play in regulation. On the near side, Franklin Pierce's center back Niklas Laudahn found the upper-90 to square the score at two-all
- 97' – Merrimack won a corner kick and junior Mattia Lanzi (Viterbo, Italy) delivered a service to junior Juan Meza (Viterbo, Italy), whose header was saved. The rebound went to Joedahl, who wasted no time in striking a right-footed shot into the back of the net to win the game
Inside The Numbers
- Playing in his 20th game of the year, Joedahl scored the third goal of his rookie campaign. The tally marked the second time this season he has scored on a rebound following a set piece, doing so on his first career goal against Le Moyne
- Alleyne also scored in last season's opening round of the NCAA Tournament, Merrimack's second goal against Le Moyne. The outside midfielder picked up the fourth goal of his campaign
- Sund's strike brought him within one goal of tying for the team lead (5). He increased his team high in points to 18
- The victory over the Ravens marked the program's fifth overall in the NCAA Tournament, and improved their undefeated mark in the opening round to 4-0
- Reserve underclassmen Jack Feehan (North Massepequa, N.Y.), Todd Righini (Salem, N.H.) and Patrick Whyte (Bloomfield, Conn.) all say extended minutes in the second half to contribute to the victory
- Shots: MER 17 // FPU 11
- Corners: MER 2 // FPU 2
The Warriors advance to face No. 6 and top-seeded LIU Post in the second round on Saturday at 1 p.m. from the Pioneer Soccer Park. The Navy and Gold dropped a 5-0 tilt to LIU Post in the regular season.