New England Soccer Today

PDL: Pioneers’ Postseason Push Ends in 1-1 Draw

LUDLOW, Mass. – A second half William Daniels goal wasn’t enough to keep the Western Mass Pioneers’ (5-3-5, 20 points)  playoff hopes alive after the Real Boston Rams (3-8-2, 11 points) forced them to settle for a 1-1 draw at Lusitano Stadium on Friday.

Daniels’ first goal of the season came in the 50th minute, while Boston opened the account in the 43rd minute when Paul Latif scored from the spot.

With four points separating them from second-place Portland and only one game left on the schedule, the Pioneers were eliminated from the postseason hunt.

The guests grabbed the first lead of the game after Fabio Machado’s cross deflected off the left arm of Pioneers center back Jay Willis inside the area. Moments later, Latif stepped up and sent a left-footed drive into the right corner of the net in the shadow of halftime.

Western Mass came out of the interval determined to level it, and did so in the 5oth minute. Daniels collected the remnants of a D.J. Ferreira corner kick, then turned and fired it past Keady Segel for the equalizer.

Needing another goal to keep their postseason ambitions from slipping away, the Pioneers pressed late for the game-winner.

Ferreira ripped a free kick from the penalty arch that barrelled toward the net before Segel made a leaping save to keep it it out in the 77th minute.

Another opportunity arrived ten minutes later when Willis just missed on a diving header from inside the six.

One final chance came in stoppage time after Segel was cautioned for simulation after he fell to the ground after Fereirra attempted to poke the ball away in front of frame. The hosts were granted an indirect free kick from inside the left edge of the area, but the shot, and the corner kick that followed seconds later, both failed to fall through.

The Pioneers wrap up their season on the road in Portsmouth where they’ll play Seacoast United Phantoms on Sunday at 7pm. The Rams will draw the curtains on their inaugural campaign on Saturday at 7pm when they host CFC Azul at Muscato Stadium.

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