action:article | category:SPORTS13 | adString:SPORTS13 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Soccer

November 18. 2012 7:55PM

SNHU booters dominate - and lose in NCAA Div. II Elite Eight


Southern New Hampshire University's Jordan Branco, center, looks away as Mercyhurst University players Austin Solomon, left, and David Dougherty, right, celebrate their 2-1 win in the NCAA Men's Soccer Championship fourth-round game at SNHU Sunday. (MARK BOLTON/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER - The Southern New Hampshire University men's soccer season came to an abrupt end in a 2-1 loss to Mercyhurst University on Sunday in an NCAA Division II Elite Eight tournament game.

The Penmen (19-4) controlled the flow of the game, dominated the match physically - and lost. They stymied the Lakers' speedy attack, created 14 shots on net and lost to the Atlantic Region champs from Erie, Pa., before 700 disappointed fans.

Mercyhurst (17-5-1) managed three shots on goal yet scored two goals, earning a trip to the Final Four round, starting Nov. 29 in Evans, Ga. The win was Mercyhurst's ninth straight; SNHU's seven-game win streak was snapped.

"Imagine what would have happened if we had more shots," said Mercyhurst's Alex Menea. The Lakers forward netted the game winner and assisted on his team's first goal. "We usually dominate, control and press. Today was a different story. (SNHU) was a good team. They took our game away. We had to find a way to adjust and maybe use a little luck."

The Lakers took swift action on a pair of Penmen defensive lapses and withstood a valiant SNHU comeback bid to earn their first trip to the Final Four since 2002.

"We been here (the national quarterfinal round) three times in the past four years and each time we've walked off the field feeling as if we deserved more," said Penmen coach Marc Hubbard. "Today was no different."

The Penmen conceded their first goal of the NCAA tourney in the 26th minute of play when Manea, the Lakers' leading scorer, scooted a pass to Austin Solomon near the top right corner of the box for a one-touch shot that sailed inside the near post.

To that point, the Penman owned the ball but couldn't build any solid scoring chances. Other than a couple of set piece kicks that were quickly booted away, the Lakers didn't place the ball near the goal until scoring, overloading one side of the pitch to free Solomon for his quick shot.

"I think we were lulled a little bit," said Hubbard. "(Mercyhurst) allowed us to keep the ball and, as a result, we took too long to make decisions and became predictable. We developed a sense of urgency once we fell behind."

SNHU tied the game at 40:43 on a quick counter attack when Miguel Carneiro swiped the ball and sent it to Kenney Doublette on a run down the right flank. The sophomore forward broke toward the post, forced the Laker keeper to commit and then dished the ball to Chris Tsonis for a point-blank score.

The tally was the 16th of the year and third of the postseason for Tsonis.

Mercyhurst reclaimed the lead at 60:10 when Fernando Martinez swiped a Penman defensive clear attempt, giving the Solomon-Manea duo another chance at converting a short pass and one-touch shot into a goal. Manea was on the finishing end, netting his 16th of the season.

This was the second time all season SNHU surrendered more than one goal to an opponent. Entering play, they had outscored the opposition 54-11.

Behind again, SNHU generated seven good scoring chances. The Mercyhurst goalkeeper made two brilliant saves. A defender cleared one shot heading toward an open net.

"They came at us hard, but doubt can bring out the best in you and we got through somehow," said Manea.

"This is going to hurt for a while," said Hubbard. "It's tough to lose a game like this at home."

eemmerling@unionleader.com


 NH Sports Angle » more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Bill Belichick: Eagles joint practices ‘as productive as any’

Big Knockout Boxing has grown from NH debut to Las Vegas attraction

Toronto Blue Jays Minor League System: Philosophy change?

Spring trial likely for former UNH women's hockey coach

Special golf cart helping Vietnam veteran play game he loves article

And so it begins: Equipment distribution starts a new era in Plymouth football

Tailgating changes for UNH football games

Report: Pirates' pitcher Jeff Locke cleared in gambling probe involving childhood friend from Conway

Tim O’Sullivan: Even with NFL success, NH’s Kelly remembers his roots

Chip Kelly: 'Put some Galoshes on and go play'

Survey says Duke the most hated college hoops team in NH

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's niece, trying to make big time article

Gorham papermill owner Lynn Tilton is getting Yale tennis award

Ex-bank president co-authors racing book

New England Patriots are the most hated NFL team in the world

Travis Hughes: It's time to drastically overhaul minor league hockey in North America

Portsmouth native, 47, conquers 21-mile swim of the English Channel

Bennett to take control of the flags for Granite State Pro Stock Series

Air Force captain serving in NH honored before Red Sox-Yankees crowd at Fenway

Newmarket woman second to run solo across the U.S.

VIDEO: A car's-eye view of the demolition derby at Cheshire County Fair

With NASCAR's $8.2B TV deal, nobody wants to be at back of pack

Kelly tinkers with Philadelphia offense

New Hampshire’s Sam Fuld traded back to A's

CAA preseason poll puts a target on New Hampshire, coach says

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   » SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   » ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!