Senior Josh Chao (New Bedford, Mass.) registered a career-high nine points, including four markers, to power the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 7-4 victory over visiting Suffolk University this evening in a NCAA Division III men's soccer match played at Cressy Field.
The Corsairs matched their highest offensive output of the season to raise their record to 7-9-1, while the Rams fell to 5-9-2. UMass Dartmouth also recorded seven goals in a 7-0 shutout victory at Salem State on Sept. 23, 2014.
Chao played an important role in five of the seven markers, including all four goals in the opening 45 minutes of action. The senior captain from New Bedford, Mass. completed the match with four goals and an assist. Sophomore striker Matt Vidal (New Bedford, Mass.) set up Chao's first two goals. Junior Rijkaard Thomas (Malden, Mass.), senior Alex Machado (New Bedford, Mass.), and sophomore George Tenie (Lunenburg, Mass.) each found the back of the net once.
Senior Djibril Niang (Dakar, Senegal) produced a hat trick for six points to lead the Rams, and classmate Jean Kemayi (Dakar, Senegal) tallied a goal. Senior Juan Lazacano Bello (Madrid, Spain) dished out a pair of helpers.
UMass Dartmouth erased an early 1-0 deficit with a pair of goals within the span of two minutes, six seconds to take an advantage they would never relinquish. Vidal set up the hosts' first scoring opportunity by sending a pass against the grain from the endline to Chao, who was unmarked for the open tally. The Corsairs were able to capitalize on Suffolk's defensive strategy to set its backline near the midfield stripe. Senior captain JB Macaroco (New Bedford, Mass.) set a quick pass to Vidal, who zipped a through ball behind the Rams' defensive line. Chao was able to run onto the pass and beat the charging keeper.
The hosts utilized a similar strategy to generate their third marker of the night. Thomas netted his first goal of the season, finishing a feed from Chao. Forty-one seconds later, Chao capped his hat trick when he converted a penalty kick to send UMass Dartmouth into the intermission leading 4-1.
Suffolk stormed back in the second stanza, whittling its deficit to 4-3. Niang continued to supply the Rams' offensive firepower, scoring his second and third goals of the contest.
The Corsairs quickly answered 43 seconds later, when Machado drilled his fourth goal of the season off a deflection in the box. The hosts diminished any hopes for a Suffolk comeback by scoring two of the three final markers of the match.
Sophomore Luis Carrenza (New Bedford, Mass.) needed to make only one stop to earn the victory, while his counterpart, senior James Potter (North Kingstown, R.I.) collected three saves in defeat.
UMass Dartmouth will return to action at 3 p.m. on Nov. 1, when the Corsairs complete their regular season against Little East Conference foe Western Connecticut State University.
Suffolk will take on Norwich University in the GNAC Quarterfinals at 4:30pm on Saturday afternoon.
(Story courtesy of UMass Dartmouth Sports Information)