By Jonas Joseph
It was a big weekend for the Men’s soccer team, who wrapped up the regular season with an effortless win against the visiting Salem State Vikings. Once a fierce rivalry in previous years, this was nothing more than a systematic dismantling of the opposition.
Two Bears players, junior forwards Conor Murtagh and Prince Collins, each netted a pair of goals in the win this past Saturday afternoon. With Murtagh’s second goal, he now stands at the top of the league in goals scored (9). Murtagh also finished off the season with 20 points, which earns him the title of most points in the conference.
From the opening kick to the closing minutes of the match, the Bears let their dominance be known. If that does not seem plausible, then maybe the fact that they outshot Salem State 26-1 will.
The eye-opening statistic that jumps out is eleven players from the Bears recorded no lower than one point during the match. There were also six different scorers for the Bears. Murtagh, just 17 minutes into the match, scored on a breakaway that was assisted by junior midfielder Sawyer Fleck. Moments later, sophomore forward Andrew Chenard netted his fifth goal of the season when junior midfielder Kolin Campbell converted a cross, in which Chenard capitalized on.
Further victimizing the Vikings, the Bears found the back of the net three consecutive times thanks to sophomore defender Jonathan Pires, sophomore forward Colby LeSage, and again Murtagh.
In the next half the Bears did not skip a beat as Collins knocked in two consecutive goals, minutes apart from each other. The last goal was scored in the 56th minute by freshman midfielder Cody Shannon, who netted a beautiful header on a LeSage cross. BSU sophomore netminder Colin Jepson was merely a spectator for the match, as the Vikings could not produce a shot on net. The closest the Vikings came was on an off-frame shot.
After the game, senior defender Christopher Naughton pointed out how the team was able to control the game. “We controlled a lot of the ball, we were able to build up very well from the back,” he said. “After Jon Pires scored, which was the 3rd goal in the first half, we pretty much knew it was our game to lose.”
With the win, the Bears instantly captured the MASCAC regular season title as they improve to 9-7-1 overall and 5-1-1 in conference play.
The Bears next matchup will take place Friday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m., as they will host a tournament semifinal game under the lights.
The Bears who struggled early on in the season let sheer will power and hard work carve out their path to success, which should be applauded, as this young group of men were able to not only overcome adversity, but silence critics both internally and externally.
Jonas Joseph is a Comment staff writer.