By Corey Miranda
The Bridgewater State University men’s soccer team has stolen two straight wins in the final minutes of their past two games.
Against Westfield State University on Saturday, senior forward Colin Neri found the back of the net with 1:10 left in regulation to give the Bears a 2-1 win.
On Tuesday, the Bears went into double overtime, and pulled out a 4-3 win over the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
“Games like this definitely help out,” said Bears’ head coach Brendan Adams. “There’s going to be mistakes that are made and if we make them in games we win, I can live with that. If we make them in games we lose, it sucks.”
The wins pushed them over the .500 mark to 5-4, and improved their Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) record to 2-0.
After giving up a breakaway goal in the first half against Westfield State, the Bears came back to tie the score in the 52nd minute when junior defender Josh Goehring crossed it to senior forward David Wilson for the goal.
Both teams battled it out for the rest of the half, but neither team could break the deadlock. However, in the final minutes the Bears got an offensive attack going.
On the game-winning goal, senior forward Craig Shadduck crossed it to Neri, and Neri did the rest.
“I felt like we had better opportunities than they did,” Adams said. “We felt like we should have been up 2-0 in the game, but when you leave a team hanging around they will score.”
Adams knows staying mentally tough for 90 minutes was the difference in the win over Westfield State.
“Those four games that we lost, we felt we were the ones that gave away in the last seven or five minutes of the game,” Adams said. “So to take this one away from them feels good.”
Against UMass Boston, the Bears scored four unanswered goals with sophomore forward Conor Murtagh netting the game-winning in the 107th minute. For Murtagh, it was his first collegiate goal.
Going forward, the Bears will look to continue their consistent play and build momentum with important MASCAC games upcoming. They currently are tied for first place in the MASCAC.
Senior goalie Matt Bagley who made tough stops in both games, is looking for the team to make it all the way to the MASCAC title game, where they haven’t been in a while.
“We haven’t made it yet and it’s my last run so I really want it,” Bagley said.
Halfway through the season, the Bears feel poised to make that title run.
“[The MASCAC championship] is on everybody’s mind and that’s enough to push us through all 90 minutes and get the wins when we need them,” said junior forward David Gwozdz.
Whether or not they can make it to the MASCAC championship game, is unknown, but if they keep playing the way they are, they have a chance to make that dream turn into a reality.
Bridgewater State will travel to Worcester State University on Saturday for a conference battle against the Lancers. Game time is scheduled for 12 p.m.
Corey Miranda is a Comment Contributor. Editor-In-Chief Greg Dudek edited this story. Email him at email@example.com.