When and Where: October 24, 2017 – Manchester, N.H. (Larkin Field)
Score: Southern New Hampshire University 1, Merrimack College 1
Records: SNHU 11-2-2 (8-2-2 NE10), Merrimack 12-2-2 (9-1-2 NE10)
Sophomore Louka Masset (Paris, France) scored with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation to forge a 1-1 tie for the Southern New Hampshire University men's soccer team that would hold through double overtime against 24th-ranked Merrimack College on Tuesday at Larkin Field on Senior Night.
Merrimack generated its first dangerous chance midway through the 23rd minute when Mattia Lanzi took advantage of a call the Penmen thought was coming, but never did, as he carried the ball through a handful of slowed defenders and ripped a left-footed shot from the left side of the box, but junior goalkeeper Daniel Milton (Ajax, Ontario) sprawled to his left to knock the attempt away and the restarted SNHU back line cleared the ball out of danger.
Southern New Hampshire had its own chance early in the 32nd minute on a free kick from sophomore Romain Daniellou (Brest, France), but his drive was knocked up and over the crossbar by leaping Merrimack goalkeeper Lucas Rezende.
Merrimack found the scoreboard first on a back-breaker of a goal with just 37 seconds on the clock before halftime. Merrimack was awarded a free kick on the right flank and Lanzi hit a hard liner that rocketed, untouched, through the box and off the far post and in.
SNHU looked to possibly have the equalizer just a minute-and-a-half into the second stanza when Daniellou sent a hard cross from the right side of the box toward the left post where there were two Penmen stationed, but the ball skidded across the goalmouth and out of play.
Daniellou created another scoring opportunity in the 64th minute when his shot from the right was saved by a sprawling Rezende, but the Warriors were able to clear the ball out of harm's way.
Merrimack would find the back of the net late in the 66th minute, but an offside call negated the tally and kept it a one-goal game. Southern New Hampshire nearly took advantage in the 73rd minute when junior Alex Satrustegui (Pamplona, Spain) slipped behind the Merrimack defense and settled a feed, going 1-on-1 with Rezende, who would make a big save to preserve the lead.
The Penmen finally did pull even with 9:44 on the clock in regulation off Daniellou's corner service from the left. The ball sailed into the right side of the box, where it was headed by Satrustegui back toward the middle for Masset, who punched the ball into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
The intensity picked up down the stretch, with Southern New Hampshire controlling most of the play and outshooting Merrimack, 7-2, following the goal.
SNHU's best chance to win the match came just over a minute into the second overtime when Satrustegui looked to have a good shot 1-on-1 with Rezende, but it was Masset, who would end up taking the shot that was stopped by the goalkeeper and then had yet another chance on the rebound, but a Merrimack defender stepped up to stuff the play.
The Warriors then looked like they would win it in the 106th minute when Lars Sund carried the ball in on the right side of the box, but his blast was turned aside by Milton, who made the save of the night to keep it tied.
Milton and Rezende matched each other with five saves a piece.
- Southern New Hampshire snaps a five-match winning streak, but is now unbeaten in six straight.
- The point earned with the tie, combined with Tuesday's scoreless draw between the College of Saint Rose and Southern Connecticut State University, assures SNHU a home match in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast-10 Championship. A win in the regular-season finale at Saint Michael's College on Friday would give the Penmen the No. 3 seed in the tournament, as well as a tie and Southern Connecticut State tie or loss, or a loss and an SCSU defeat. SNHU would drop to No. 4 with a loss or tie against the Purple Knights, coupled with a Southern Connecticut win.
- Masset's goal was his sixth of the season and the eighth of his career.
- Southern New Hampshire held an 18-15 advantage in shots, including 6-1 in the overtime periods, as well as an 11-7 edge in corner kicks.
- SNHU is now 81-10-8 (.859) over its last 99 matches dating back to the beginning of the 2013 National Championship season, while it is unbeaten in 67 of its last 73 (62-6-5; .884) at home.
- Seniors Michael Rowley (Cooperstown, N.Y.), Matt Crowley (Cumberland, Maine), Tyler Bivona (Rome, N.Y.), Robert Smith (Peabody, Mass.), Yera Sissoko (Troyes, France) and Cooper Hall (Heber, Utah) were all honored in a ceremony prior to the match.
The Penmen return to action Friday, Oct. 27 (3 p.m.) when they wrap up the regular season against Saint Michael's. SNHU is back home Tuesday, Oct. 31 (7 p.m.) when it plays host to a Northeast-10 Championship quarterfinal match at Larkin.
For the latest on Southern New Hampshire University athletics, follow the Penmen via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram. Sign up to receive text message alerts and e-mail newsletters about your favorite Penmen teams here.