Men’s Soccer Ties Mount Ida, 1-1, in GNAC Opener

Men’s Soccer Ties Mount Ida, 1-1, in GNAC Opener

EAST BOSTON – For the second straight season, the men's soccer match between the Rams of Suffolk University and the Mustangs of Mount Ida would go the distance. History repeated itself as a winner was not decided and both team's Great Northeast Athletic Conference openers ended in a 1-1 draw Saturday at James A. Sartori Stadium at East Boston Memorial Park.

A flurry of fouls consumed the first half of action. Suffolk (0-3-1, 0-0-1 GNAC) managed to overcome the whistles and tally its first score for the first game in three outings. Off Jordan Casey's free kick, Ben Daniels sent missal at Riley Ford, who could not get a hand on the ball as the Rams' captain gave the host a 1-0 lead at 21:49. Daniels' first goal of the season put Suffolk out in front for the first time in the James Boden era.

The two squads traded heavy possession time throughout the second half, with Lasell applying most of the pressure as more fouls poured in on both ends of the field.

A crucial turn of events occurred as Mount Ida has back-to-back corners. Off Alexi Flores' first kick, Shawn Bernardo's head was knocked out by Nicholas Chamma sending the Mustangs back to the corner. The second time around the ball lofted off of Flores' cleat to Juan Bernes, who used his head to bury the ball and even the game at 1-1 with just over 23 minutes remaining. 

Looking to get back in the driver's seat, Suffolk's Eugenio Ottino dribbled through the defense for a one-on-one opportunity with the Mustangs' keeper Ford. Ottino's kick from inside the box went too highhe, however and rattled off the post. With the Rams keyed in on Ottino's attempt, Billy Zeba picked up the rebound off the post and coasted down the pitch. Now Zeba had a one-on-one with Chamma, but the senior made a diving save to keep things even at one-goal each.

Mount Ida was persistent on keeping the match just 90 minutes as they piled on the shots. With help from the Rams' defense, Chamma turned away the Mustangs attempts and sent the game into extra sessions.

At the midway point of the first overtime, Carlos Martinez went the length of the field bypassing all the white jerseys. Running with Martinez was Jordain Williams, who used Martinez's go ahead pass and stared Chamma down. Williams slide the ball to the right side of the goal, but it clung off the outside of the post. With just over one minute remaining in the first OT, Mount Ida had another chance with an empty net, but Bernardo's try went too high. Suffolk came back with a shot by Hamada Hazzoum, but the freshman's attempt bounced off the post.

Suffolk's best attempt came on a corner kick with three minutes remaining in the contest, but Fernardo Tome's header went too high.

The shots were just about even from both sides, with Mount Ida holding a slim 15-14 edge, but the Rams had an 8-6 advantage with shots on target.

Suffolk travels to Lesley Monday night for an 8 p.m. game, its first of three straight contests on the road, while Mount Ida hosts Mitchell Wednesday, Sept. 16.