After pulling off the upset to win the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) Tournament championship, the Bridgewater State University men’s soccer team was shutout, 3-0, by Amherst College in the first round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Playing against Amherst, the second ranked team in the country, was no easy task. With the win, Amherst improved to 16-0-2 and stretched their winning streak to 38 games.

“Making it to the NCAA tournament was a great accomplishment for our team,” said senior forward Colin Neri. “It was tough to play Amherst in the first round, but winning the MASCAC conference is a big success, being only the fourth time Bridgewater has ever won.”

Freshman forward Prince Collins had the taste of what the postseason is all about with the Bears getting to the NCAA Tournament. Jeremy Foote - Photo
Freshman forward Prince Collins had the taste of what the postseason is all about with the Bears getting to the NCAA Tournament. Jeremy Foote – Photo

The Bears traded chances with Amherst to start off the game. In the 14th minute, Neri had a shot on net that went wide left and moments later, junior forward Steve McAvoy got off a shot but was denied by Amherst’s goaltender.

From there on out, it was all Amherst. The Jeffs notched a goal in the 18th minute and scored again just 53 seconds later for a 2-0 lead.

The Bears were unable to produce much offense for the rest of the game against Amherst’s tough defense and only produced five shots on goal.

Although they did not advance in the NCAA tournament, the Bears’ were happy to just gain the experience and winning their first  MASCAC championship since 2007 is still a highlight.

“To win a title with this group of guys feels incredible,” said senior forward and captain Craig Shadduck. “To work this hard since August and get a reward is great, especially senior year.”

Having a record of 10-8-3 and a MASCAC trophy to end a college career isn’t too bad for the Bears’ five seniors.

Shadduck, Neri, Dave Wilson, Matt Bagley, and Luke Samperi, were all crucial components of what made this year’s team so successful.

Few believed the Bears would even make it to the playoffs, let alone win the MASCAC championship, but their resiliency and hard-working attitude drove them to play at an extremely high level.

“I believe people counted us out at the beginning of the season,” Neri said. “With only four returning seniors it was a big challenge for our young team to make it as far as we did. It was a great ride for myself and the other seniors to end our careers her at BSU by finally becoming MASCAC champions.”

With a core group of senior players leaving, it will be up to the underclassmen on the team to help get the Bears back to a MASCAC championship and to an NCAA Tournament appearance next season.

The Bears will look to second team All-MASCAC selections, sophomore midfielder Kolin Campbell and sophomore defender Nicholas Keddie, to help lead the Bears in the 2014 campaign.


Matt Melia is a Comment staff writer. Email him at

+ posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Jay Wladkowski: The Star of the Diamond

If you have looked on the BSU athletics website, you have probably seen star outfielder Jay Wladkowski. A senior, Wladkowski was the Bears’ student-athlete spotlight for April. Wladkowski is batting .299 with a .895 OPS. He also has four home runs this year, 30 runs batted in, and 13 extra-base hits.  Wladkowski’s 2022 season is tied for the most at-bats […]

Caleb Williams waves to fans after his final game at USC on November 18th, 2024. (Gina Ferazzi / LA Times).

2024 NFL Draft Preview

As the 2024 NFL Draft closes in, the war rooms of all 32 teams are buzzing with anticipation. This draft is set to be a very competitive one in terms of offensive talent, particularly at the quarterback position, with many mock drafts projecting four of the top ten selections to be quarterbacks. These standouts include […]

Coach Profile: Erica Adams

Bridgewater State University women’s lacrosse Head Coach Erica Adams is in her seventh season at the helm. She has taken the Bears to five seasons with over 10 wins each, as those are all the season not shortened by COVID. She is also in her second year as the athletics operations manager, where she manages […]