October 20, 2009

No. 5 Men's Soccer Clips Falcons 3-1, Clinches NE-10 Regular Season Crown

BOX SCORE

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Adrian Schippers (Ashby, Mass.) totaled two goals and an assist to lead fifth-ranked Southern New Hampshire University to a 3-1 Northeast-10 men's soccer victory over Bentley University at Larkin Field Tuesday night.  The Penmen, who extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games (12-0-2), improved to 13-1-2 overall and 10-0-2 in the NE-10, while the Falcons fall to 5-8-2 and 5-4-2 in the league.

With the win, Southern New Hampshire clinched the Northeast-10 regular season title for the second straight year, and also for the second time since SNHU joined the NE-10 in 2000.  It also marks the first outright regular season crown for the Penmen, as they shared last season's title with UMass Lowell.  Southern New Hampshire will be the top seed and have home field advantage throughout the upcoming Northeast-10 Tournament which starts November 1.

Bentley took a 1-0 lead 1:48 into the contest.  Harris Smirko delivered a through pass down the middle that Eric Heuze, streaking in from the right flank, caught up to.  Heuze would collect the ball and fire a 12-yarder past Penmen keeper Sean Lambert (Rehoboth, Mass.).  It marked just the second time all season the Penmen have trailed, and the first since September 4 against Saint Thomas Aquinas.

Southern New Hampshire would tie the game in the 21st minute.  Danny Hernandez (Salem, N.H.) would attempt an initial shot that glanced off the left post, but Schippers would collect the rebound and put it home for the goal.  The game remained knotted 1-1 at halftime.

Schippers would give the Penmen the lead at the 49:24 mark.  Standing at the top of the box, Schippers took a feed from the right side by Hernandez and rifled a shot past Bentley goalie Michael Nikiforov.  It marked Schippers' seventh game-winning goal of the season and 12th overall. 

Hernandez added an insurance goal with just over five minutes to play.  An attempt by Schippers was deflected by Nikiforov and glanced off the right post, but Hernandez collected the rebound and fired into the open net.

Lambert made one save for Southern New Hampshire while Nikiforov made eight stops as the Penmen outshot the Falcons 20-8.

Southern New Hampshire plays its final regular season home game Saturday night when it hosts Southern Connecticut State University in a 7:00 tilt at Larkin Field.