Massucci Leads Mountaineers to Crucial NECC Victory

BENNINGTON, Vt.- The Southern Vermont Men's Soccer team took one more step towards a regular season conference championship Monday afternoon. The Mountaineers used two Noah Massucci (Craftsbury, Vt.) second half goals to beat the Lesley Lynx 2-1, at Everett Field. The Mountaineers, 11-4-1 and 6-0-1 in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) play, need a win or tie Saturday against Wheelock College in order to win the regular season crown.

"We couldn't ask for a better way to start the last week of regular season play for our senior's," said Head Coach Tim Penrod. "We came together as a team very well today. We saw today that sacrifices we have made all year paid off."

The Lynx dominated the first half of play behind a stiff wind. Nine minutes in, Ahmed Abubakar (Springfield, VA) headed home a Sean Randall (Fremont, CA) throw in. The Lynx continued to fire shots at the SVC defense and keeper Connor Anniello (Scotland, CT), throughout the first half. In total Lesley had 14 shots to Southern Vermont's four in the first frame.

"After we went down a goal we made some halftime adjustments and then executed them. We battled back to tie it and battled again to get the game winner," continued Penrod. "It is a great time to have our first comeback win of the year. It was a tremendous win against a great program."

Five minutes into the second half the Mountaineers used a counter attack from Pierre Massena (Wayne, NJ) to earn a corner kick. Off the corner Tommy Youngblood (Leonardtown, MD) got a head to the ball that was redirected by Lynx keeper Max Perkins (Lexington, MA). Massucci was on the other end of the redirection for his first goal of the 2011 season.

With five minutes remaining it looked as if the Mountaineers were headed for its second overtime in as many games. Then SVC's Connor Murray (Litchfield, CT) played a ball over the top of the Lynx defense. Massucci then snuck behind the defense and chipped Perkins for the eventual game winner.

"Noah has put himself in good situations all year. After Saturday, he battled through a couple of tough misses, and he showed his character today. Today, he continued to put himself in the right situations and the first goal showed that. Then the second goal was just a brilliant finish," said Penrod.

The reigning regular season champions, Lynx fall to 10-4-1 and 4-2 in the NECC. Southern Vermont will host Wheelock College, Saturday for senior day, while Lesley will travel to Mitchell College Wednesday.