North Adams, MA- Worcester State's Andre Ipojuca knocked home a sudden death penalty kick advancing the sixth seeded Lancers past the third seeded MCLA Trailblazers in the quarterfinal round of the MASCAC Men's Soccer championships in an entertaining game played at Shewcraft Field. The contest ended in a 1-1 draw; however the Lancers will advance by virtue of winning the PK's 6-5. They will move on to the semifinal round where they will face second seeded Framingham State on Friday.
Following the end of the second overtime, the teams engaged in an epic shootout to determine who would advance. MCLA would kick first and sent out Christopher Shea. He was denied by WSU keeper Jason Bennett and when Worcester's Eric Davis converted his kick, the Lancers a quick advantage. MCLA and Worcester would both convert their second kicks, but Bennett once again came up huge stopping Dylan Pereira's shot, and when Ramdal Mendez scored, the Lancers appeared on their way leading 3-1 in the best of five round with two kicks remaining.
MCLA's Jesse Moore converted making it 3-2 in favor of WSU, but then Trailblazer keeper Kamron Anderson stopped Etjon Rapi giving the home team hope. When Ryan Baker converted, the PK's were knotted at 3-3 with Noah Phelps left to kick for Worcester. Anderson once again came up big stopping Phelps which led to the sudden death, alternating kick round.
Each team would convert their first two kicks, Sean Kenney and Nolan Burke for MCLA, and Bryan Brasil and Matthew Dent for Worcester setting the stage for the dramatic 8th round. MCLA sent Tyler Callahan to kick and his shot deflected off the crossbar giving Worcester another chance to advance. The Lancers sent Ipojuca to the line and he calmly sent a shot into the left corner moving the Lancers to the semi-final round.
The Lancers had some opportunities in overtime to score the game winner, however Anderson came up with some big saves to send the game into PK's. The Lancers outshot MCLA 11-5 in the extra sessions, but Anderson kept MCLA in it.
Worcester controlled play early on in the contest earning multiple corner kicks and throws deep in Trailblazer territory. They finally broke through at the 11:32 mark when they earned a corner kick and converted. Lancer Noah Phelps lofted a perfect corner kick that deflected off the back post. The ball ricocheted in the center of the box where Jacob Jess headed it home for an early 1-0 lead. The marker was his second goal of the season.
MCLA had a few chances to answer in the opening half, but Worcester's Jason Barrett kept the zero on the scoreboard. Trailblazer Tyler Vona almost immediately answered the Jess goal in the 18th minute when he got inside the left box. Worcester's Barrett cut off the angle however and deflected the ball out of bounds keeping it 1-0. MCLA outshot Worcester 6-5 in the period as Barrett collected four saves.
Both Bennett and Anderson stopped eight shots on the day while Worcester held a 26-21 shot edge, including a 21-15 mark over the final period and OT's.
The Lancers also owned a 10-3 edge in corner kicks.
MCLA ends their season at 5-9-3 while the Lancers are now 6-9-2 overall heading into Friday's matchup.