#2 Men's Soccer Sees Its Historic 2011 Season Come to a Tough End in 1-0 Setback to Lynn in Final Four
Ravens produce a historic season in program history
PENSACOLA, Fla. (December 1, 2011) -- The No. 2 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University men's soccer team saw its historic 2011 season come to a tough end on Thursday night with a 1-0 setback to No. 20 Lynn in the NCAA Division II Final Four at the Ashton Brosnaham Complex in Pensacola, Fla. The Ravens concluded their brilliant season with a 21-1-1 record, while Lynn improved to 14-4-3 and advanced to Saturday's NCAA national championship match.
Despite the loss, Franklin Pierce put together a historic season in program history. The 21 wins were the most in a single season and the team's unbeaten 16-0-1 mark in the regular season marked the first time in program history that had happened. The team's 22-straight matches without a setback to begin the season also marked the longest such streak in program history. The team's appearance in this year's Final Four marked the fourth time in program history a Ravens squad had gotten that far, joining the 1991, 2005 and 2007 seasons.
Franklin Pierce looked tentative early in the match as Lynn kept the pace of play on the Ravens' side of the field for the most part, but senior goalkeeper Vinny Papageorgiou (Wilmington, Mass.) made four saves in the frame to keep the match scoreless.
The Ravens settled in during the later stages of the half and had a scoring chance with 15 minutes remaining when senior midfielder Diego Tabares (Seekonk, Mass.) got loose on a breakaway, dribbled down the left side and fired a shot, but it glanced off the side of the goal, thus thwarting FPU's best chance of the stanza.
Lynn, which logged five shots on goal in the first half, came out firing in the opening minutes of the second half, but still could not solve Papageorgiou as he made a diving save to keep it scoreless.
Franklin Pierce, then, got into an offensive rhythm and was able to fire off two shots on goal during the middle portion of the second half. Senior midfielder Paul Latif (Newcastle, England) put a shot on goal off of a free-kick attempt, and moments later Tabares fired off a shot that Lynn goalkeeper Matt DiCerbo was able to block away with a diving save.
The match settled into a back-and-forth affair at midfield as regulation ticked down under 10 minutes remaining. Lynn, though, was finally able to solve Papageorgiou in the 84th minute when Yocef Oudjidane took a crossing pass from Johnny Mertl and slipped a shot to the lower left corner of the goal for the winning tally.
Franklin Pierce tried to get the equalizer in the closing minutes, but the Fighting Knights would not allow the Ravens to put a shot on net.
Lynn outshot the Ravens, 17-6, including putting nine on goal. Tabares logged a team-high four shots for Franklin Pierce. Papageorgiou made seven saves despite suffering the loss to conclude his season with an impressive 21-1-1 mark.
For more information on Franklin Pierce men's soccer, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceAthletics).