Links: Box Score
BROOKVILLE, N.Y. – The top-ranked and top-seeded LIU Post Pioneers scored on a penalty kick in the first half of Saturday's NCAA Tournament Second Round from Pioneer Soccer Park to defeat the Merrimack College men's soccer team, 1-0, and advanced to the East Region Final.
Score: #1 LIU Post 1, #5 Merrimack 0
Records: Merrimack (15-6) | LIU Post (17-1-1)
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 def. #3 Le Moyne, 3-1.
Second Round (Saturday, Nov. 12):
Match 3: #1 LIU Post def. #5 Merrimack, 1-0
Match 4: #6 Southern New Hampshire vs. #2 Adelphi, 4 p.m.
How It Happened
- 5' – Senior left back Connor O'Brien (Sandwich, Mass.) hit the game's first chance, a left-footed volley off a corner kick but Pioneers goalkeeper Jesper Malmstrom punched the shot away
- 10' – The Pioneers' first chance came off a one-timed attempt from Alex Billington, but his shot from just outside the six-yard area went went
- 18' – Senior Jaime Cortes Torres (Seville, Spain) rose from a free header, but his shot went high and out of play
- 21' – Sophomore Tyler Packett (Eastham, Mass.) made his first save after the Pioneers broke on the counterattack. Harry Pearse took the host's shot, that bounced off Packett's chest before it was cleared by senior Joseph Briers (Nottingham, England)
- 29' – Packett came out on a challenge and collided with Pioneers' striker Charlie Ledula, resulting in a penalty kick for the Pioneers. Junior Cody Russell (Oceanside, Calif.) replaced Packett for the penalty kick and guessed right, but Billington's shot found the right side of the net
- 41' – Russell made his first save on Pearse, who's curling shot went right to the catching gloves of the second-year keeper
- 53' – Senior Josue Ruiz Maya (Madero, Mexico) kept the deficit at one, as he was credited with a team save to keep Pearse's strike out of the net. The side netting was open after Russell came off his line
- 60' – Senior center back Joseph Briers (Nottingham, England) appeared to tie the game on a free kick, but was called in an offside position
- 74 & 76' – Russell made consecutive saves on Pearse and Charlie Ledula – the nation's 11th-leading scorer – to keep it a 1-0 game. The second save was a right-footed bomb that he dove and punched out of play
Inside The Numbers
- In over 60 minutes of action, Russell posted a new career high with five saves. Packett finished with a pair of saves in the first half, while Ruiz Maya's stop in the second half account for the Warriors eighth save of the day
- O'Brien's volley in the fifth minute proved to be the Navy and Gold's lone shot on goal. The Pioneers put nine of 18 shots on Merrimack's frame
- Junior Mattia Lanzi (Viterbo, Italy) led the Navy and Gold with a pair of shots
- The Warriors finish the season with 15 overall wins for the third straight year, missing out on tying the single-season wins record by one victory
- Shots (SOG): MER 7 (1) // LIU 18 (9)
- Corners: MER 4 // LIU 6