The joys of covering soccer in a Nor’easter

UMass Boston midfielder John Santos (#6).

Man, my editors must really be determined to kill me. First, they send me to a tennis match, which I knew nothing about. Then, they send me to a volleyball game, which I knew even less about. Finally, this week, they send me to a soccer match, which, in theory, wouldn't be that bad, because I know slightly more about soccer than the other two sports. But boy, did they choose the perfect day of the year for me to go, didn't they? In late October 2021, New England decided it was a great time to get slammed by a good, old-fashioned fall Nor'easter, or "Bomb cyclone", which made any kind of travel or outdoor activity pretty miserable and unenjoyable. So, naturally, I had to go and risk walking pneumonia to cover a sport I really wasn't that big a fan of to begin with. Good times!

I kid, but I must confess that I, being a slow and uncultured American, really don't know that much about the "beautiful game". I mean, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are still the best players, right? My father is a huge soccer fan and watches the English Premier League every weekend—I usually am able to pry the remote away before NFL action starts at 1 p.m. on Sundays. So, covering this game, with its fairly straightforward and easy to understand rules, should've been pretty easy, right? Oh...dear.

By the time I reached campus about an hour before the game started, the storm was still raging as powerfully as before. You know that awful kind of rain when it blows sideways, directly into your face, like a fan that's been soaking wet? Yeah, it was like that, but worse. As I trudged through the billowing storm, I finally reached the park at BC High where the game was being held. Well, now that my complaining about the weather is over, let's get to the actual game!

The UMass Boston Beacons had been riding a 10 game unbeaten streak heading into Tuesday night's game. That, unfortunately, would come to an end. They were defeated by the WPI Engineers with a score of 32 in double overtime. Yours truly was not the only one who had to suffer through the brutal elements last night—in a stadium that had no overheads to shelter me from the weather, I might add. It also happened to be senior day for UMass Boston men's soccer team.

WPI's Luke Reid scored the dagger in the 104th minute of play, unassisted, to seal the victory for the Engineers. Trailing late in regulation, WPI's Luke Savoie managed to tie the game with less than four minutes to play. Savoie also had an assist of his own on the winning goal from Mike Nason on his game-tying tally. UMass Boston struck first in the game as senior Estevao Gomes of Fogo, Cape Verde put the Beacons on the board. WPI's Mike Biando then evened it to one apiece in the 36th minute of play, but the Beacons went up 21 before halftime, on the 19th goal of the season for senior Nilton de Andrade, also from Fogo, Cape Verde. The second half was more of an interlude as strong Beacon defense kept WPI at bay, until junior Qasim El-Ashkar of Salem, Massachusetts got beat by Savoie for the game-tying goal. Momentum then swayed in WPI’s favor in overtime, where they would ultimately come away with the win over the Beacons.

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