BENNINGTON, VT- Senior mid-fielder Noah Massucci (Craftsbury, VT) contributed on all four of the Southern Vermont goals, Friday afternoon. Massucci led the host Mountaineers to a 4-1 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) semi-final victory, over fifth seeded Elms College. Massucci scored two second half goals and had two second half assists for the Mountaineers in the win.
"After the Newbury game, Noah took it on himself to be better. He is playing like a true senior, setting up his teammates and being in the right spots on the field. He doesn't want our season to end," Head Coach Tim Penrod said.
Until two games ago the senior hadn't scored a goal in 2011. Then he scored twice in a come from behind victory against Lesley University to clinch the NECC regular season crown. Friday afternoon, Massucci used his magic again in the second half, to put SVC in the NECC Championship game. Less than a minute into the second frame, Erik Argueta (Pico Rivera, CA) played Massucci a ball down the left flank that he finished home.
Ten minutes later Massucci centered a ball to Pierre Massena for a 2-0 SVC lead. Massucci showed his unselfishness in the 69th minute when he was two on one with the Elms keeper and he squared a ball to fellow senior Nick Haggerty (Wyantskill, NY) for the goal. The Vermont native finished his day with his sixth point of the match and second goal when he finished a Brett Clatworthy (Argyle, NY) pass.
The Blazers had opportunities throughout the match. Two minutes after the Mountaineers had taken a 1-0 lead there was a cluster inside the box, on Elms offensive side. After two shots were blocked by defenders the ball squirted to Ziggy Jonathan (Springfield, MA) before he fired a shot wide. With the score at 2-0, Elms' Brendan Reed (East Longmeadow, MA) hit a low driven shot from 20 yards out that beat SVC keeper Connor Anniello (Scotland, CT).
The game was played at a fast pace as both offenses combined for forty shots. The Mountaineers fired 22 as the Blazers squared up 18. Elms keeper, Ryan Sullivan (Agawam, MA) had five save, as Anniello had five as well.
Southern Vermont moves on to host the NECC Championship game Sunday afternoon at 1:00PM. They will play Lesley University, who was 3-1 winners against Daniel Webster in the other semi-final. Elms finishes its season at 7-11.
"We are excited to be back of where we were a year ago. We need to go out and take care of business," continued Penrod. "We are 90 minutes away from our goal."