MANCHESTER, N.H. – Jordan Branco (Norton, Mass.) recorded a goal and an assist as second-seeded Southern New Hampshire University topped third-seeded C.W. Post 2-0 in the second round of the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championship East Regional Sunday at Larkin Field. The Penmen improved to 18-3-0 overall, while the Pioneers see their winningest season in school history come to an end at 17-3-1.
SNHU advances to face a familiar foe in the NCAA Division II quarterfinals next weekend, as it will travel to Rindge, N.H. to meet top-seeded Franklin Pierce University on Saturday night for a 7:00 contest at FPU's Sodexo Field. The Penmen and Ravens met in the Northeast-10 championship game, which FPU won by a 1-0 score.
Southern New Hampshire took a 1-0 lead 12:08 before halftime. Branco sent a shot to the near right post that was turned aside by Pioneer keeper Marco Jorgensen, but the rebound came to Chris Tsonis (Dartmouth, Mass.), who chipped it in for his 17th goal of the season.
The second Penmen goal came with 55 seconds left in the game as Branco went in alone on Jorgensen. His initial attempt was stopped, but Branco headed the rebound over Jorgensen's head for his 10th goal of the season.
C.W. Post pressured Southern New Hampshire much of the second half, generating a 10-8 shot advantage over the final 45 minutes and a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks. Four of those corner kicks came in a one minute span with 18 minutes remaining in the contest.
Jon Mayo (Merrimack, N.H.) earned his first start of the postseason in goal and turned aside one shot en route to the shutout, his fifth in a row and six of the season in seven starts. Jorgensen made six saves as SNHU outshot C.W. Post 18-13.
Southern New Hampshire is making its ninth trip to the Division II quarterfinals in program history and its first since 2009.