Male nets game winner in Falcons MASCAC quarterfinal victory
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – The sixth seeded Falcons of Fitchburg State defeated third seeded Framingham State University, 1-0 in quarterfinal round action of the 2016 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference Men's Soccer post-season tournament this afternoon at Maple Street Field.
With the win, Fitchburg State improves to 6-11-1 on the year and advances to the MASCAC Tournament Semifinals on Friday night where they will face second seed Massachusetts Maritime Academy at 7 p.m. in Buzzards Bay. With the loss, the Rams see their season come to a close at 8-11.
The Falcons secured the early lead with a goal in the seventh minute that would ultimately prove to be the game winner. Freshman Matthew Krikorian sent a cross into the box that ended up behind the Rams keeper and junior Ibrahima Male placed a shot into the empty net for the 1-0 advantage.
The Rams had a chance at the equalizer three minutes later.as sophomore Simon Appiah sent a low shot towards goal, but a Falcon defender was able to clear the ball away before it crossed the goal line to preserve the 1-0 advantage going into the break.
The Rams offense came alive to start the second half as they had multiple chances in the opening minutes of the frame. Sophomore Ken Stahovish was alone behind the Falcon defense in the 48th minute only to send his shot wide, while three minutes later Stahovish rang a shot off the cross bar.
Framingham State had several final chances down the stretch including a shot from freshman Mitchell Thackaberry that sailed just high with just over 15 minutes remaining on the clock as the Fitchburg State defense shut the Rams down over the final ten minutes of play, resulting in the 1-0 final.
Throughout the match, the Rams outshot the Falcons 19-13, while also holding a 7-3 edge in corner kicks. In net, junior Alex Al-Zaibak stopped six shots for Fitchburg State in the victory, while. junior Josh Arno took the loss for the Rams despite making eight saves.
Portions of release courtesy of Framingham State SID office