New England Soccer Today

PDL: Short-handed Phantoms Outlast Pioneers

Photo credit: David Henry/

Photo credit: David Henry/

Despite going short-handed midway through the first half, the Seacoast United Phantoms found a way to win in Friday’s 3-2 victory over the Western Mass Pioneers at Lusitano Stadium.

After Seacoast conceded a Ryan Taylor goal in the 12th minute, defender A.J. DuBois was given a straight red card after he brought down Taylor on a breakaway, denying him of a goal-scoring opportunity.

Down, but not out, Abel Perez equalized in the 45th minute, while Anthony Grant put the Phantoms ahead in the 59th minute. Western Mass put it back on level terms on an 84th minute goal from George Siotis, but Barry McCabe stuck in the 88th minute to give the 10-man Phantoms the win.

The victory allowed Seacoast United to improve its record to 7-1-1, with a division-best 22 points. The loss dropped Western Mass’ mark to 1-5-1, and remain on four points.

The Pioneers opened the scoring inside of 12 minutes when Taylor, using his trademark speed, grabbed a pass from Carlos Ruiz and raced through the Phantoms backline before burying it to put the hosts ahead.

Taylor was keen to collect a second strike in similar fashion when he broke into the final third with only keeper Dom DiMaggio to beat. But DuBois’ last ditch attempt to thwart Taylor on a brazen tackle was deemed the denial of a goalscoring opportunity by referee Alex Cerjan, and the Phantom defender was issued a red card.

Doomed to 10 men for the duration, the Phantoms regrouped, and managed to get on the scoreboard right before halftime. Grant fed a ball to Perez, who beat Nick Velleca.

Following a bold save from Velleca, Seacoast United went ahead in the 59th minute when Grant pounced on a ball that smacked off the crossbar and put it through and give the shorthanded guests the lead.

The Pioneers fought back with time winding down, and Siotis took center stage. In the 84th minute, he hit a scorching shot from distance that tucked itself under the crossbar to make it two apiece.

But the Phantoms had the final say only four minutes after Siotis’ wonderstrike when McCabe beat Velleca in the 88th minute to complete the shorthanded comeback victory.

The Phantoms return to action at 6:00pm on Sunday, Jun. 28 when they meet GPS Portland Phoenix at Deering High School in Portland, Me. The Pioneers will be back on the pitch at 6:00pm on Saturday when they face the Phoenix at Deering High School.

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