Nov. 13, 2009

Courtesy of Franklin Pierce Athletics

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – The 25th-ranked Franklin Pierce University men’s soccer team downed Dominican, 2-1, in NCAA Division II Tournament action on Friday afternoon at Niland Athletic Complex on the campus of Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.

In the process, the fifth-seeded Ravens (13-4-3) advanced to the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Tournament East Regional, which will be held on Sunday in Syracuse. Franklin Pierce will face top-seeded and No. 6-ranked Le Moyne at 1 p.m. at Niland Complex. The winner of Sunday’s contest will earn a trip to the NCAA East Regional Championship game next weekend at the site of the highest remaining seed in the region.

It will also mark the third time that Franklin Pierce and Le Moyne will be facing each other this season in Syracuse. The previous two times the Ravens took a 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, only to see the Dolphins score twice following intermission to pull out 2-1 victories. The latest meeting between the two teams came last week in the Northeast-10 Conference Tournament Semifinals as Le Moyne scored in overtime to pull out the victory on its way to the conference championship.

Friday’s first-round game featured several exciting plays at both ends of the field.

The Ravens jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute on a goal by sophomore midfielder Victor Goncalves (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). It was the sixth goal of the season for the 2009 Northeast-10 First-Team selection. Goncalves scored the tally following a nice cross pass from Frantz Francois (West Palm Beach, Fla.), which he ripped from 15 yards out that beat the Dominican goalkeeper to the lower-right corner of the net. It was just the second assist of the season for Francois, but it added to his team-leading total of 22 points.

Franklin Pierce took the 1-0 lead into the intermission and held serve throughout the opening stages of the second half. However, Dominican knotted the game at 1-1 in the 71st minute off an unassisted goal from Joe Wright.

The Ravens didn’t fold and responded with a goal two minutes later off a rocket of a shot from Tom Reilly (Wallasey, England). The sophomore back blasted a shot from 25 yards out from the left side of the box, which smacked off the bottom of the crossbar and fell into the back of the goal. It was his first tally of the season and proved to be the game-winning goal.

Franklin Pierce out-shot Dominican, 24-16, throughout the contest. Franklin Pierce sophomore goalkeeper Vinny Papageorgiou (Wilmington, Mass.) made one save to earn the win and run his record to 11-3-2 on the season.