The MCLA Trailblazers drew a hard fought scoreless draw today with the Engineers of WPI. With the tie, WPI claimed the 2015 CIAO Classic Championship.
Despite the 0-0 score the game was back and forth with both teams having plenty of scoring chances. Early in the first half both teams exchanged great opportunities a minute apart. MCLA's Edward Boateng set-up and received a pass on the left side of the box all alone, Boateng was denied by WPI goalie Jordan Finzel, the first of many big saves by Finzel on the afternoon. WPI immediately went on the attack and Frank Ciliberto came streaking down the left side all alone; Ciliberto's shot went just wide of the far post as Kamron Anderson came out to close out the angle.
WPI held a slight edge in possession most of the first half and most of the afternoon, but MCLA had the better chances. Finzel came up big again when he stopped Dylan Pereira from point blank range late in the first half.
The pace and aggressiveness picked up in a well played second half as both teams continued to get opportunities. Finzel robbed Sean Kenney who slipped in behind the defense and was one on one with Finzel from 5 yards away to preserve the tie.
The save of the game belonged to Anderson though as WPI pushed late in regulation; a deflected ball came out to Brendan Nemes right in the center of the goal from 10 yards away with under a minute to play. Nemes unleashed a rocket but Anderson was able to make the save and send the game into overtime.
Overtime continued to add drama with both teams applying pressure, but neither team was able to breakthrough for the golden goal.
Finzel was outstanding in goal for WPI making eight saves; as was Anderson for MCLA who had seven of his own. WPI held an 18-2 advantage in corner kicks.
WPI remains unbeaten on the season at 5-0-1; while MCLA is now 0-2-2 on the season.
In the first game of the day the Union Dutchmen defeated UMass-Dartmouth 3-0. UMass-Dartmouth came out the more aggressive team early and out-shot Union in the first half (7-6); but was on the wrong end of a 2-0 score.
Union used some sharp passing as they scored two goals late in the first half just two minutes apart. Connor Horan opened the scoring off a nice feed from Andrew Fontaine and then Horan gave the helper to Carl Faber to give Union momentum going into the half.
UMass-Dartmouth continued to push in the second half, but Samuel Eddy's header beat Corsair goalie Andre Reis in the fifty-sixth minute to put the game out of reach and the final was 3-0.
UMass-Dartmouth suffered their first defeat of the year and is 2-1, while Union rebounds from a tough loss yesterday and moves to 3-1-1 on the season.
CIAO Tournament notes: WPI's Brendan Nemes was named MVP of the tournament after scoring two goals in their victory versus Union on Saturday. The rest of the all-tournament team was WPI goalie Jordan Finzel, Union forward Carl Faber, UMass-Dartmouth forward Matt Vidal and MCLA keeper Kamron Anderson.