By Jason Hafley
The 2018 Bridgewater State Men’s Soccer team reached the NCAA tournament for the sixth time in program history November 4th with a MASCAC championship victory against Framingham State, 5-3. After falling behind 2-0 early in the match, senior Kessy Alves helped mount a comeback with a hat trick to bring the Bears the conference title.
The first round of the NCAA tournament was against 18th ranked team in the nation, Amherst College. After a promising 11-7-1 record to win the conference, the Bears hoped to carry their success into the NCAA tournament. Bridgewater men’s soccer is 1-5 all-time in NCAA tournament play, so this year’s Bears were reaching unfamiliar territory.
The 12-4-1 Amherst Mammoths proved their ranking with a skillful shutout of the Bears, 1-0. The loan goal came in the 34th minute by NESCAC Conference Rookie of the Year freshman German Giammattei.
The Bears fought a tough battle that proved they belonged in tournament play despite the loss. Bridgewater State’s defensive play style fit right in with Amherst’s, and one goal was the difference.
Senior goalkeeper Nate Morgado recorded 10 saves to keep Bridgewater in the game against the 18th ranked Mammoths. They would lose to Amherst on November 10th, finished the season with an impressive 11-8-1 record. The Bears can take pride in their season for bringing the MASCAC title back to Bridgewater. As they reached NCAA tournament play for only the sixth time in BSU’s history, the Bears have reason to keep their heads high for next year.
Jason Hafley is a Staff Writer for The Comment