Nov. 6, 2010

Courtesy of Franklin Pierce

RINDGE, N.H. - The No. 1-nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University men's soccer team defeated Le Moyne, 1-0, on Friday afternoon in the Northeast-10 Semifinals, and in the process, punched its ticket to the 2010 conference championship match on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. in Sodexo Field.

The Ravens (16-1-1), who ran their unbeaten streak to 15-consecutive matches, will take on Bentley in the title game on Sunday. During the Ravens' current unbeaten streak, they have gone 14-0-1 with the only non-win being a 1-1 tie with Bentley in Sodexo Field back on Oct. 12. Bentley advanced to Sunday's title tilt via a penalty kick victory over Southern Connecticut State in the league's other semifinal matchup.

Franklin Pierce took the game to Le Moyne on Friday, out-shooting the Dolphins by a count of 19-3, including putting 11 on goal. Junior midfielder Paul Latif (Newcastle, England) had a match-high six shots, while junior midfielder Diego Tabares (Seekonk, Mass.) and sophomore midfielder Amory Houghton (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) followed with three apiece.

Despite the high number of shots, Franklin Pierce could not penetrate Le Moyne's goal as Dolphin goalkeeper Matthew Silva came up with several big saves throughout the contest. Even the Dolphins' backs were making saves, as Houghton launched a header with just five minutes remaining in regulation that was blocked away by Sean Lawlor at the goal mouth with a diving kick.

The frustration at just missing a goal was evident on Houghton's face, but he responded in the 88th minute with the tally that proved to be all the Ravens would need in advancing to Sunday.

As regulation was winding down, Franklin Pierce was able to push the ball deep into the left corner on Le Moyne's side of the field. Graduate forward Shaun Taylor (Isle of White, England) tracked down the loose ball, turned and dribbled towards the goal, where he found Houghton positioning himself in front of the net. Taylor fed a pass to Houghton, who collected the ball and fired a strike that first caromed off the left post and all the way across into the lower right corner of the goal for the game-winner. It was Houghton's sixth of the season, which moved him into second place on the team in goals scored.

Silva ended the match by making an impressive 10 saves despite suffering the loss. Franklin Pierce junior goalkeeper Vinny Papageorgiou (Wilmington, Mass.) needed to make only two saves to earn the shutout victory and run his record to 16-1-1 on the season. It was Papageorgiou's 10th shutout of the season.