Men's Soccer Advances in Nationals

The Genesee Community College men’s soccer team came back to defeat Manchester Community College (Conn.) 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA National Tournament on Thursday afternoon at SUNY IT in Utica, NY.

The Genesee Community College men’s soccer team came back to defeat Manchester Community College (Conn.) 4-2 in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA National Tournament on Thursday afternoon at SUNY IT in Utica, NY.
Rain was falling throughout the match and caused for a slick pitch during the battle of the Cougars. GCC narrowly gave up the game’s first goal six minutes in when goalkeeper Jack West (Notts, England) came out of the net to make a save. The shot was turned aside by West but remained in the box with a vacated net. Manchester managed to get a shot on goal but defender Josh Gray (Norwich, England) stepped in to make the save and keep the game scoreless.
Genesee controlled possession for the better part of the first half and capitalized in the 11th minute when Sean Brettell (Welwyn Garden City, England) finished a nice cross from Dom Francis (Huddersfield, England) to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead. About 12 minutes later, Peter Keegan (Dublin, Ireland) came within inches of increasing the lead to two when his shot off of a free kick went just wide of the Manchester net.
The Cougars of Manchester responded late in the first half scoring off of a corner kick in the 37th minute and then netting the go-ahead goal with just 40 seconds to play in the first half to take a 2-1 lead into the break.
The number one team in the country would respond after the intermission and came out putting pressure on the District G champions from the very beginning of the half. Five minutes in, Brettell tried to return the favor by sending a cross Francis’ way, but Francis’ shot sailed just wide. Genesee kept play in the Manchester end and cashed in the equalizer when Ryan Fredal (Bloomfield Hills, MI) pushed a header off of a throw in by Gray past the Manchester goalkeeper ten minutes into the second half.
With the score tied at 2, Theo Stamatopolous (Norwich, England) found good position on two occasions but could not connect on a Jonny Bonner (Buncrana, Ireland) long ball or a Keegan cross to put GCC on top.
The Cougars did take the lead with a little over 14 minutes to play on an own goal. Gray sent a bid into the box that was inadvertently knocked into the Manchester net by a Cougar defender. Gray was credited with the eventual game winning goal.
With a 3-2 lead, Genesee added an insurance goal with just over 5 minutes to play when Brandon Reiner (Attica, NY) scored from just inside the box, icing the game and giving GCC the 4-2 win.
Genesee (15-1-2) advances to the NJCAA National semi-finals which will take place tomorrow afternoon at 1:30pm at Herkimer County Community College. The Cougars will take on Anoka-Ramsey Community College out of Minnesota. The Rams, ranked #5 in the country, represent District C and sport a 14-2-2 record. They advanced after beating Howard Community College (Md.) 3-1 on Thursday afternoon. The winner of tomorrow’s contest will move on to play for the NJCAA National Championship on Sunday afternoon.
 

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