NEW LONDON, Conn. – Mason Rubino netted the golden goal in overtime to propel second-seeded Mitchell College to a 1-0 victory over third-seeded Eastern Nazarene College on Friday afternoon in the semifinals of the 2018 New England Collegiate Conference Men's Soccer Championship at Silfen Field.
The goal—the first of Rubino's collegiate career—secured a spot in the conference finals for the Mariners (9-8-0 overall) for the second straight season. The defending NECC champions will play for the title on Sunday, November 4 at top-seeded Newbury College at 1 p.m. The Nighthawks were 2-1 winners over New England College in Friday's other semifinals contest.
The game's only goal came in the 97th minute thanks to some fancy footwork from Christian Urena, who took the ball in the left corner and then weaved past defenders along the touch line. He dribbled into the 18-yard box before sending a short cross to the front of the goal, connecting with Rubino for a one-touch volley that found the back of the net and sent the Mariners into wild celebration.
The Lions (7-10-3 overall) held a 19-7 advantage in total shots. Mitchell goalkeeper Seth Strader finished with five saves to record his fifth clean sheet of the season. ENC keeper Florian Resch recorded three saves in the loss.
Eastern Nazarene peppered the goal with 10 shots in the first half and produced several scoring chances. A shot by Edmilson Centeio off a corner kick hit the crossbar in the 23rd minute, and in the final minutes of the half he once again had a near miss on a header.
Mitchell's best look at a goal in regulation came off a restart in the 14th minute. Diego Di Carlantonio put a shot into the top-right corner from outside the box, but Resch made a sprawling effort to punch the ball out of play.