New England Soccer Today

Amateur Cup: Mass Premier Advances to State Finals

BOSTON – Mass Premier Soccer scored four unanswered goals following the interval to stake a 4-2 overtime win against Mass United FC Sunday at Roberto Clemente Field.

Alencar “Junior” Ventura (19′) and Moises Lopes (45′) opened a two-goal, first half lead for the Riders. But Mass Premier responded twice before full time with goals from Derek Nobrega (51′) and John O’Reilly (81′) to send it overtime. There, Harris Smriko (105′) and Nick Christman (109′) each tallied to complete the comeback.

With the win, Mass Premier advances to the state final against Battery Park Gunners, who claimed a 1-0 semifinal victory over Boston Olympiakos on Sunday. The state final is set for the weekend of Dec. 1.

The Riders carried the early moment and relentlessly tested Mass Premier’s defense. In the 17th minute, Marc Djessouho crossed it to Ventura, who rattled the bar on a header.

Two minutes later, Ventura avoided the woodwork and sent it through clean when he collected a pass from Coolidge Durham, cut through the defense, and tucked it inside the far post to open the account.

Mass United added another moments before the interval. Junior went forward and fired away, with the rebound falling to Deni DaSilva, who biked it back on frame. DaSilva’s ball deflected off a defender and fell to Lopes, who volleyed it through to make it two-nil at halftime.

But Mass Premier refused to bow out. Six minutes into the second stanza, Matt Hoff crossed it to Nobrega, who scored via the header to make it a one-goal game.

From there, Mass Premier stood on the gas and kept Mass United keeper Steven Liechti busy. Liechti answered the call in the 57th and 62nd minutes, and made another heady save in the 76th minute.

But there was little Liechti could do after a teammate brought down Christman inside the box in the 80th minute. O’Reilly stepped up and slotted the penalty through to level it with less than 10 minutes remaining.

Mass Premier surged ahead in overtime when on a disciplined build up. Tyler Macnee centered it for Christman, who deferred wide to Smriko at the far post. Smriko wasted no time and buried the effort to put his club ahead.

Minutes later, Daniel Antonio pulled down Christman in the 18, and Antonio was given a straight red card. Another penalty was awarded to Mass Premier, but this time, Christman took it himself and tallied, turning the tables on Mass United by claiming a two-goal lead before the final whistle.

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