WORCESTER, Mass. – Worcester State University's Matt Dent (Ludlow, Mass.) scored the double overtime game-winning goal on a header in the 104th minute to seize not only a 2-1 victory over the visiting Bridgewater State Bears, but to also notch the 2016 Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) men's soccer regular season title.
With the win, the Lancers complete their regular season at the top with a 10-6 overall record, and a 5-2 record in the MASCAC. The Bears dip to 7-8-2 overall, and 3-3-1 in the MASCAC.
Following a 0-0 first half, the Lancers put the first goal on the board in the 71st minute when the Worcester State received a free kick 55 yards out from the goal. Worcester's Eric Davis (Hudson, Mass.) positioned the ball right in front of the net for a chance to capitalize on the opportunity. The Blue and Gold did just that as Bridgewater's keeper, Colin Jepson (Sandwich, Mass.) attempted a save, however left a scramble inside the box. Worcester State's Dent got a hang of it for his first goal of the night.
The Lancers dominated most of game in shots, however, the Bears fought back and took a hold of an opportunity in the last five minutes of regulation. The Bears pounded off back-to-back shots in the 88th minute when Sawyer Fleck (Foxboro, Mass.) made Worcester's Jason Barrett (Spencer, Mass.) make a diving catch. Seconds following, Jameson Bradley (Westborough, Mass.) took another chance at it, but hit the post. After the ball bounced off the post, the loose ball was picked up by Fleck who slammed the ball in goal for the 1-1 tie.
After a scoreless first overtime period, Dent came in for his second goal of the night following a free kick from the right corner. Worcester's senior defender, Noah Phelps (Attleboro, Mass.) kicked the ball and met the head of Dent for the 2-1 overtime victory.
Despite 16 shots for the Lancers, only three were on goal and Bridgewater's Jepson registered one save on the night. Worcester's Barrett marked his sixth win of the season in just a two-save performance on the Bears' 14 shots.
Worcester State held a 7-1 margin on corner kicks throughout the contest.
With the win, the Lancers pick up the No. 1 spot in the MASCAC playoffs, and are set to host the winner of a battle between the No. 4 MCLA Trailblazers and a No. 5 Bridgewater State on Friday (Nov. 4).