BENNINGTON, Vt. – Three second-half goals paved the way for the fifth-seeded Newbury College Nighthawks to walk out with a 4-0 upset victory over No. 4 Southern Vermont College Tuesday afternoon at Everett Field in the first round of the New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) men's soccer postseason tournament.
NC got on the board in the 30th minute of action to hold a 1-0 lead at halftime. 10 minutes into the second period, the visitors found the back of the net once again before padding their cushion with a third tally just five minutes later. A final strike in the 78th minute essentially put it away and sent the Nighthawks to the next round.
NC improves to 5-14 on the year and will head to top-seeded Mitchell College on Friday for a 2 p.m. semifinal bout. SVC concludes the 2017 campaign with an overall record of 5-15.
Newbury sophomore Nilton De Andrade (Boston, Mass.) had a spectacular afternoon as he scored three times and assisted on NC's first insurance goal. Nighthawk sophomore keeper Chris Tran (Nantucket, Mass.) made five saves as he evened his season record between the pipes to 3-3.
SVC freshman goalie Dylan Berg (Tampa, Fla.) turned away six NC shots in the loss (5-15).
Southern Vermont took only two shots in the opening half, but they both landed on net to give the Mountaineers chances at changing the score. The first came in the 18th minute when SVC worked the ball down the field before a well-placed through pass into the top of the box saw freshman Jared Lacoste (Arlington, Vt.) have a look from the left side; Tran would meet him in the middle of the penalty area, however, and smother the Mountaineer's shot to keep the game scoreless.
About 18 minutes later, Newbury got a great chance and capitalized to go on top. A long ball was sent from the midfield circle into the SVC end of the pitch, and De Andrade was able to collect it after a failed clearing attempt; he went down the left wing and cut back into the middle third to elude a defender before lacing a take into the lower-left corner for his 13th of the year.
The Nighthawks got some breathing room in the 55th minute after De Andrade's doorstep attempt resulted in a second-chance opportunity for his teammate. De Andrade got to a loose ball at the top-right edge of the Southern Vermont box and turned to rip a shot at net; Berg would get his hands on it to deflect the initial take, but the rebound squirted off to his right where sophomore Alex Strafer (Auburn, Mass.) met and slammed home his fifth of the year to make it 2-0.
De Andrade would get on the scoresheet again just five minutes later with his 14th of the season. He took a pass from the midfield and squared up with his defender before taking a few touches in from the left edge; the Nighthawk then let it fly from 25 yards out and saw his shot find the back of the cage—extending the visitors' lead.
The NC sophomore completed the hat-trick with 12:37 on the clock to all-but end it for Newbury. He took a free kick from about 20 yards out in the middle of the field and curled a shot off the top of the right post and into the upper corner for his team-leading 15th tally of the year.
– #LetsGoSVC –