The UMass Boston men's soccer team toughed out a tie on the road against the Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Forwards Luan Cruz, freshman, and Josh DeAlmeida, junior, both scored to help the Beacons overcome two respective one-goal deficits. The game would end in a 2–2 draw (1). It was also the Beacons' final non-conference match of the regular season. UMass Boston's record went to 9–4–3 on the season with the draw (2).
Worcester Polytechnic Institute would strike first in the match, as WPI's Matthew McClellan scored the first goal of the game on an assist by Filippo Marcantoni. Junior Beacons goalkeeper Qasim El-Ashkar was unable to stop the shot. Marcantoni set up McClellan in the box, and the former would fire the ball through traffic, past three Beacon defenders and El-Ashkar's outstretched arms to give WPI the 1–0 lead.
The Beacons would tie the game with 22 seconds left in the half on their first shot of the match. Junior midfielder Maan Albehacy missed a free kick, but the ball caromed off DeAlmeida's foot, and Cruz was able to control the rebound and rifle it past WPI goalkeeper Ryan Martin for his third tally of the season.
However, the Engineers would retake the lead in the second half, as sophomore forward Ryan Dalton was able to take advantage of a defensive mistake by the Beacons. Dalton shot into the UMass Boston backfield, stripping senior midfielder Cristian Suvak, broke for the net, and put the ball past El-Ashkar.
The Beacons responded, and it was DeAlmeida making another nice play just over 15 minutes into the second half, taking advantage of a failed clearing attempt by the WPI defense. He got his foot on the ball in the box and shot it past three Engineers to tie the game at two apiece.
The game would end in a 2–2 tie. UMass Boston was outshot by WPI 24–10 in total attempts and 12–5 in shots on goal. However, the Beacons held a 6–1 advantage in corner kicks. Prior to the game, UMass Boston was 0–2 against the Engineers all-time. Entering the week, WPI was fifth in the United States Coaches Region Two poll.
The Beacons fell short in their prior game against Western Connecticut State, falling 2–1 at home. The WCS Wolves were able to win their third Little East Conference title and earned the top seed in the upcoming tournament, which begins on Tuesday, Nov. 1. WCS players Kadin Talho and Erik Lorent both scored in the win. However, the Beacons were able to cut the leader to 2–1 on a tally by freshman Nick Braganca (3).
Braganca would earn a terrific honor, being named the Little East Co-Rookie of the Week. Braganca turned in a two-goal, one-assist, five-point week for UMass Boston as the Beacons went 2–0–0 against UMass Dartmouth and Keene State to clinch a first-round bye in the Little East Conference Tournament. The freshman forward assisted on DeAlmeida's second goal of the match against the Corsairs, which proved to be the difference maker, before scoring two goals of his own on an unassisted goal and penalty kick en route to the 6–1 Beacon victory last week (4). The Beacons are currently second in the Little East Conference, at 9–4–3, second only behind undefeated Western Connecticut, whom they still gave a run for their money in their bout with them. Their next game is Saturday on Oct. 29, at home against Castleton University.