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MCLA Volleyball Secures MASCAC Tourney Bid
10:59PM / Friday, October 26, 2018
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BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. -- The MCLA volleyball team needed a win over Mass Maritime to clinch a playoff berth in next week's MASCAC championships.
The Trailblazers did just that as they handed the Buccaneers a 3-0 defeat to advance into next week's tournament. The Trailblazers snapped a three-match slide as they ended the regular season at 8-17 and 2-5 in the league. The Bucs finish their season at 2-19 overall and 1-6 in the MASCAC.
MCLA was in a dogfight early on as they held off MMA 26-24 in the opening set. The second set was just as tough as the Trailblazers eeked out a 25-23 win.  They would close out the match with a more routine 25-15 win in the third.
The MCLA offense was paced by Alyssa Keegan's team best 10 kills on 37 attacks. Sara LaFreniere (Becket) ended with eight kills and added 10 digs. Tessa Sestito continued her role in setting up the hitters with 23 assists and also notched 5 aces. Sestito did it on the defensive side as well ending with 15 digs.
Celine Manigbas and Keegan had 15 and 13 digs respectively. MCLA overcame 17 attack errors.
The Trailblazers will await the winner of Saturday's Westfield State and Framingham State match. The quarterfinal round of the MASCAC tournament gets underway Tuesday.
Women's Soccer
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The visiting Bridgewater State University women's soccer team finally broke through in double overtime as Nicole Simas netted the game winner for the Bears as they defeated the MCLA Trailblazers 1-0 at Shewcraft Field.
The Bears (9-5-2, 5-1-1) were frustrated all night long by the stellar play of MCLA goal keeper Megan Richardson (Adams). The Bears owned a decided shot advantage (42-3) and time after time, went face-to-face with Richardson, but the senior stood tall and kept the Bears off the scoreboard until Simas' heroics.
In the second OT, Simas dribbled through the defense and settled just inside the box. She ripped a shot that went off the back of a Trailblazer defender and went in the opposite direction of Richardson as it easily went in to send the Bears to the victory. It was a difficult end to what was an unbelievable performance from Richardson.
The senior collected 20 saves, many of the highlight variety. Bridgewater had a golden chance to end the contest with about 10 minutes to play when Simas was stopped twice. The first brought Richardson off the line and she made a sprawling save, but Simas got the rebound. She attempted to head the ball towards the right corner, but a Trailblazer defender cleared the ball just shy of the goal line in essence sending the game to overtime.
In the first OT, Bridgewater thought they had it won on the opening possession. Alana Vincent's shot was very close to crossing the line, but Richardson got just enough of it to keep the game scoreless for the time being.
Kellie Souza earned the win for Bridgewater stopping the one shot she saw on goal. She improved to 9-5-2 on the season. Simas and Vincent were tough to handle all night for the Trailblazer defense as they amassed 17 shots between the two of them.
At halftime, MCLA (6-11, 1-6) honored their four seniors playing their last contests in Kayla Baker, Kate Mancini, Lauren Mangiardi (Pittsfield), and Richardson.
Men's Soccer
BRIDGEWATER, Mass. -- The Bridgewater State University men's soccer team wrapped up regular season play with a 3-2 Senior Day victory over visiting MCLA in a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference matchup on Friday afternoon.
The host Bears improve to 10-7 overall and 5-2 in the MASCAC with the win, while the Trailblazers end the season with an overall record of 0-15-1 (0-7 MASCAC). Bridgewater is seeded second in next week's MASCAC Tournament and will have a first round bye.
Senior midfielder Kevin Roberts paced Bridgewater State with a pair of goals, including the game-winner, while senior forward Kessy Alves (Praia, Cape Verde) dished out three assists.
MCLA junior forward Ryan Wanek (Adams) scored off a turnover to open the scoring just 6:10 into the game. Wanek intercepted a mishandled ball and ripped a shot from 23 yards out inside the right post for his first goal of the season.
BSU freshman midfielder Odair Monteiro knotted the score with a header goal less than five minutes into the second half. Alves outfought a defender for the ball on the right side and sent a goal line cross to Monteiro at the far post who headed it into the left side of the net. The goal marked Monteiro's second of the season.
Roberts staked the Bears to a 2-1 lead in the 66th minute. Following a short pass from junior forward Joseph Cruise (Brockton, Mass.), Alves slipped a cross at the top of the 18 to Roberts who buried a shot into the left side of the cage.
Wanek potted the equalizer for MCLA less than two minutes later as he scored off the rebound of a Khalil Kareh (Adams) shot. The goal came off a restart delivered into the box by freshman defender Ian Ford-Hunt.
Roberts notched the game-winner in the 74th minute as he one-timed a cross sent into the six by junior defender Zachary Ells(Douglas, Mass.). Roberts drove the ball inside the left post for his team-leading seventh goal of the season and career tenth. Alves also assisted on the marker as he picked up his third helper of the day and team-best ninth of the year.
The Bears finished with a 35-9 shot advantage as well as a 13-3 edge in corner kicks.
BSU junior goalkeeper Nate Morgado turned aside four shots to record his 10th win of the season and 20th of his career. Freshman Holvin Nieves turned aside 10 shots in the setback for the Trailblazers.
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