Amherst, Mass. - November 12, 2011 - The Springfield College men's soccer team's season came to a close on Saturday afternoon after it fell to Eastern Connecticut State, 2-0, in the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Championship hosted at Amherst College.
The loss brings Springfield's final record to 10-5-4 in a season in which it reached the NCAA Championship for the first time since 1999.
Senior Aaron Smiles and sophomore Tom Vear each netted a first-half goal to lead the Warriors to the win. Winning their first round game for the second consecutive season while improving to 15-5-1 overall, ECSU will face the Lord Jeffs in a second round matchup scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13.
Looking to set the tone early, the Warriors won three corners in the game’s first eight minutes, recording their first shot on a Jon DeCasanova try at 8:04. Earning another corner in the 12th minute, sophomore Christopher Giustina played the ball into Carl Stensland who linked up with Smiles for the game’s first tally at 11:51.
Continuing to apply pressure and outshooting the Pride 5-1 over the next 25 minutes, ECSU again broke through at 36:19, with Jon DeCasanova assisting on Vear’s fourth marker of the season.
Hoping to change the momentum, Springfield’s Drew Vanasse tested ECSU goalkeeper Carl Appel just 48 seconds into the second half before sophomore Collin Smith recorded the Pride’s second shot of the frame at 47:46. Still searching for their first score, Vanasse ripped a shot wide right in the 58th minute before sending a volley over the bar at 63:01. With the Warriors focused on protecting their lead, Springfield managed just three more shots over the final 30:14, unable to put another try on goal to threaten the Warrior net.
Both teams finished with 11 shots, while ECSU held a 9-5 edge in corners. Appel needed to make just one save in the win with counterpart Brett Bascom making just one stop in the loss.