NEW LONDON, Conn. – Top-seeded Mitchell College came away with a 3-1 victory over fifth-seeded Newbury College in the semifinals of the 2017 New England Collegiate Conference Men's Soccer Championship on Friday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Andrew Storton supplied a pair of goals to lead the Mariners to their first-ever win in the NECC Championship. Jose Roman III also found the back of the net while goalkeeper Seth Strader turned away seven shots.
Mitchell (8-8-1 overall) will play in the title game for the first time in school history on Sunday, November 5 at noon. The Mariners will host either second-seeded Lesley University or third-seeded Elms College. The Lynx and Blazers meet in today's other semifinals contest at 8 p.m.
Nilton De Andrade scored the lone goal for Newbury, which ended the season with an overall record of 5-15-0. Goalkeepers Chris Tran and Jarrod Smith combined to make three saves.
Storton gave the Mariners the lead in the ninth minute with his first tally of the day. Eduardo Tineo served a long ball over the Newbury back line that Storton quickly settled, and his left-footed attempt ricocheted off the right post and in for the 1-0 advantage.
Roman added his marker with just under 10 minutes remaining in the half, cashing in on a loose ball following an errant header by a Newbury defender. The goal, his career-best fifth of the season, gave Mitchell a 2-0 lead at the break.
De Andrade had a pair of quality scoring chances in the opening half but was denied both times. His first opportunity was stopped by a close-range save from Strader. On the second, De Andrade caught Strader out of position and put a shot on goal. However, defender William Ferguson was manning the goal line and kept the ball out of the back of the net.
De Andrade pulled the Nighthawks back into the game in the 65th minute with his 16th goal of the season. Stanley Elie served up a ball from the midfield stripe that De Andrade pulled down without a bounce and pocketed into the left corner to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Storton provided some breathing room for the Mariners in the 72nd minute, netting his team-leading 11th goal of the season. The play started on the left sideline with a throw-in from TJ Condon, who launched the ball into the 18-yard box. The ball sailed over a cluster of players before bouncing once and was scissor-kicked home by Storton to make it 3-1. His 11 goals are the most by a Mitchell men's soccer player in a single season since 2007.