Men's Soccer Season Ends with a 2-1 Loss to Bethel in NCCAA Semi-Finals
December 5, 2014
Written by: Michael Brown, Assistant A.D. for External Operations
KISSIMMEE, Fla.- Following a pair of shutouts in their first two matches at the NCCAA National Tournament this week the Sailfish men’s soccer team fell short on Friday at advancing to the NCCAA National Championship match. Palm Beach Atlantic and Bethel College battled rainy conditions throughout the afternoon with the Pilots prevailing 2-1.
The loss ends the season for PBA in its first campaign under head coach Brian McMahon. The team proved resilient and dangerous down the stretch and earned a trip back to the NCCAA National Tournament after claiming the South Region championship.
A scoreless match through 35 minutes, both teams struck on back-to-back possessions in the 36th minute with goals just 10 seconds apart.
The Pilots got on the board courtesy of a PBA defensive lapse as Benjamin Galindez found Ricardo Carvalho for a 1-0 lead. On the very next possession the ‘Fish caught the Pilots by surprise by striking for a quick counter-strike. Lucas Coutinho continued his strong tournament showing by finding junior Steven Fiema in the box for a quick tap in and equalizer.
Both teams would settle for a 1-1 stalemate into halftime as the ‘Fish held a narrow 5-4 lead in shots. The Sailfish returned to the offensive in the second-half as they once again put together solid chances at goal. It would be the Pilots however who would end up with the go-ahead and eventually game-winning score.
In the 53rd minute BC took advantage of a failed PBA defensive clearance and pushed across a put-back goal from Ricardo Zambronino to move in front 2-1. With still plenty of time left the Sailfish continued to give themselves chances but could not cash in on a game-tying goal as Bethel clinched a spot in the NCCAA Championship match on Saturday.
Goalkeeper Steeven Raymont made four saves in the loss for PBA.