In the opening two minutes of the second overtime, Mount Ida sophomore Simon Shallop (Guinea, West Africa/International School of Conakry) netted the game winning goal giving the Mustangs the 1-0 victory over Suffolk University in the quarterfinal round of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) tournament in Newton, Massachusetts this Saturday. This was the first time any sport at Mount Ida was victorious in GNAC tournament play in the schools second season as part of the conference. Mount Ida (9-5-4, 6-3-1 GNAC) has earned a trip to semifinal action in Northfield, Vermont versus Norwich University this coming Tuesday starting at 1:30 p.m. Suffolk's season will end going 5-10-0 overall on the year and 4-6-0 in conference play.
In a match that featured extreme physical play with 53 fouls and six yellow cards, both teams battled to the finish with numerous opportunities to score. Mount Ida struck first after they were awarded a direct kick a couple of yards shy at the top of the box. Sophomore Hayato Kanesaka (Old Tappen, NJ/Northern Valley) tried to curve one to the near post but missed wide.
The Rams, who managed to hit two posts and one crossbar throughout the game, netted a goal that was called back due to an offside call around the 12th minute in the opening of the first half. In the 40th minute, the Mustangs had a chance on a bounding ball in front of the net that was pin-balled in a scrum of players. Sophomore Hermes Lima (Boston, MA/West Roxbury) found a hole and fired one that sailed high over the net. The teams would head into the break knotted at 0-0.
In the second half, Suffolk created more opportunities but could not convert. In the 84th minute, Rams freshman Nick Cogine (Ridgefield, Connecticut) hammered a ball to the top left corner that ricocheted off the crossbar and straight to the ground. It was cleared out of the zone by the Mustangs for another missed chance for the visitors.
There was one more legitimate strike for Suffolk in the final minutes of the first overtime. Ram junior Nick Celia (Hanson, Massachusetts) collected a pass from the wing and took a shot that nicked the far post for another failed opportunity that would have ended the game.
Finally, 1:21 into the second overtime, the Mustangs converted off a cross from sophomore Billy Beauzile (Brooklyn, NY/Samuel J. Tilden) that Shallop trapped in front of the net and fired it into the left corner. The game would end there giving Mount Ida their first ever GNAC postseason victory in any sport in their second season as members of the conference.
Mustang goaltender senior captain Brian Leighton (Turner, ME/Leavitt Area) made a handful of point blank saves, including one right before the end of regulation that sent the game into extra time. Leighton tallied 12 saves on the day in his best outing of the season. Rams keeper junior Alex Capousis (Annapolis, Maryland) denied four shots.