New England Soccer Today

NCAA: Friars Advance to Final 4

Photo credit: Michigan State Men's Soccer

Photo credit: Michigan State Men’s Soccer

Providence College is en route to its first College Cup Final Four appearance in school history after outlasting Michigan State 3-2 in Saturday’s quarterfinal showdown at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing, Mich.

Spartans midfielder Adam Montague opened the scoring inside of eight minutes, but Daniel Neustadter pulled one back for the Friars in the 37th minute. Dominik Machado quickly gave the guests the lead in the 42nd minute, while Fabio Machado made it a two-goal margin in the 62nd minute. Jay Chapman chipped away at the Friar’s lead in the 70th minute, but the Friars held on to seal the win.

Providence upped its mark to  will face the winner of Saturday’s North Carolina-UCLA match in the College Cup Semifinals on Dec. 12 in Cary, N.C. Michigan State’s season ended with a 12-5-6 record, becoming one of only two teams to reach the Elite Eight in each of the past two seasons.

Saturday’s match started off less than ideal to say the least for the Friars after Tim Kreutz slid a pass into the box for Montague, who tapped it through to put Providence into an early deficit.

Mac Steeves tried to level it with a well-taken shot in the 28th minute, but keeper Zach Bennett was there to deny him.

But there was little Bennett could do when the Friars recommitted themselves in the waning stages of the first half. Looking for a goal before the break, Neustadt gave it a go from distance and buried it to put the match back on level terms in the 37th minute.

Another strike arrived shortly after when Dominik Machado latched onto a pass from Fabio Machado and pushed it through to give Providence the lead going into halftime.

The Friars widened the gap in the 62nd minute another long-distance blast, this time from Fabio Machado, who ripped it past Bennett from 25 yards to leave the Michigan State crowd stunned.

But the Spartans would fight back. Eight minutes after Machado’s howler, Chapman slotted a shot past Keasel Broome to pull the hosts within one. Chapman fired another shot on target four minutes later, while Fatai Alashe nodded one on net, but both were denied by Broome, who made six saves on the afternoon to send the Friars to the Final Four.

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