This past Sunday, the Bridgewater State University men’s soccer team waited until the final five minutes to pull off the upset for a Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) championship.
The third-seeded Bears defeated the number one seeded Lancers of Worcester State University when sophomore forward Conor Murtagh found the back of the net in the 85th minute to give Bridgewater State the MASCAC title.
“It doesn’t come all that often, this is the first time in six years,” said Bridgewater State head coach Brendan Adams. “We were able to win it in 2004 and 2007, and it’s an opportunity that we didn’t want to throw away.”
It was Murtagh’s second game-winning goal of the tournament, as his efforts earned him the MASCAC Tournament Most Valuable Player honors.
The Bears weren’t expected to make it this far at the beginning of the season, but to do so, was a long time in the making.
“Just knowing how long I’ve waited to win a title and to finally do it my last year with this group of guys feels incredible,” said senior forward and captain Craig Shadduck.
The win moves the Bears onto the NCAA Division III Tournament as they will face Amherst College, the second ranked team in country, on Saturday, November 16 at 1:30 p.m. at Amherst.
Throughout the postseason, the Bears’ defense has been perfect with senior goaltender Matt Bagley leading the way, as he did not allow a goal in the MASCAC Tournament.
Shadduck, who is tied for the team lead in goals with six, has also made an impact during the season and in the playoffs. Shadduck credits the team’s success to the chemistry and work ethic they have built upon all season.
“Team chemistry is great, everyone gets along. We have a really hard working group,” said Shadduck. “We have a lot of guys that buy into a team concept. No one really cares if they’re the one making the big play, so when we come together as a team we play above what most people say we could do.”
The Bears will need to put everything they have on the table this weekend while facing Amherst, and Shadduck plans on sticking to the winning formula they have had all season.
“We know they [Amherst] are a very talented and physical team,” Shadduck said. “Our game plan going in is the same thing it has been all year. We need to outwork everybody in every game. We have a lot of hard working guys so we need to make sure that no matter what happens we just won’t ever get out worked.”
Matt Melia is a Comment contributor. Editor-In-Chief Greg Dudek edited this story. Email him at email@example.com.