New England Soccer Today

ASL: W. Mass, Mass United Draw 1-1

Photo credit: David Henry/

Photo credit: David Henry/

Chris Roswess put Western Mass Pro Soccer (7-1-3, 24 points) up early, but Rigoberto Jimenez equalized for Mass United FC (2-2-5, 11 points) as the squads settled for a 1-1 draw on Saturday at Lusitano Stadium in Ludlow, Mass.

Roswess opened the scoring in the 16th minute, while Jimenez blasted a free kick from 30 yards to level it. Riders’ goalkeeper Malcolm Cheney made 10 saves to keep the Lusitanos from coming away victorious in their spring season home debut.

“We knew this was going to be a challenging game,” said Western Mass head coach Federico Molinari in a team release. “We had our chances to finish, but luck wasn’t with us tonight. We will keep on practicing and be ready for the next game.”

After their home opener was delayed by the effects of a harsh winter on their home field, Western Mass came out of the gate strong, and wasted little time asserting themselves. Inside of 16 minutes, Dan Fabian played a ball forward to Roswess, who tapped it through, much to the delight of the Ludlow crowd.

The Lusitanos continued to press, but the Riders backline held strong. Cheney was instrumental in that effort, making save after save to keep the hosts off the board.

Cheney’s heroics did not go to waste, after Mass United was awarded a free kick from 30 yards with halftime looming. Jimenez sent a rocket past Jose Silva to put the match on level terms.

Maxi Vieira nearly secured the game-winner in the 90th minute when he uncorked a dangerous free kick of his own from distance, but could only watch as the shot smacked off the post.

Western Mass will return to action on May 9 when they head to New Jersey to face AC Crusaders at Egg Harbor High School. Mass United will be back on the pitch on May 9 when they face the Rhode Island Oceaneers at Tucker Field.

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