WRITTEN BY ROBERT DEVITA
The St. Francis College men’s soccer team is heading back to the NEC Championship game for the second consecutive season. The Terriers have defeated Bryant University 2-0 in the semi-finals of the NEC Tournament.
On a frigid and snowy night freshman midfielder Vincent Bezecourt and red shirt junior Jack Binks stole the show. Bezecourt scored both goals, the first coming in the 63rd minute and the second in the 84th minute. The freshman came into the game with one goal all season long, and tonight he scored a pair in the biggest game of his career thus far.
The reliable Binks made it known why he is “The Jack of All Saves”. He was absolutely remarkable in the net for the Terriers, denying Bryant time and time again. In the early minutes Binks took and ugly fall and thankfully for the Terriers he was able to shake it off.
Once Binks got back on his feet, he was in the zone. Bryant had a number of scoring attempts some more difficult than others, but it didn’t matter on this night. Binks was not letting anything in his net. In the closing seconds of the game he made one of the finest saves of the entire season stretching out to deny the Bryant attacker.
The shutout was Binks’ 10th of the season. This year has been an amazing one for the Terriers goal keeper. Their success can be attributed to the outstanding play of the red shirt junior.
With the conditions unfavorable, defense would have to be the name of the game. The game was scoreless after the first half as both sides could not generate anything on offense. The game lacked a consistent flow, as both sides failed to capitalize on the others mistakes.
Bryant’s goal keeper junior Chris Knaub played a very respectable game of his own. Despite allowing two goals to Bezecourt, he was able to deny the Terriers on a number of occasions. It may be overshadowed in a losing effort, but Knaub kept Bryant in the game for the long haul.
The Terriers made a conscious effort to defend their goal. Senior co-captain defenders Andy Cormack and Riccardo Milano were around the ball all night. They made sure that it would not be easy for Bryant to create on offense.
Junior forward John Makaya did not find the back of the net this evening, but played very well. Makaya is the Terriers leading goal scorer, and throughout the course of the game he was blanketed by two or three defenders every time he touched the ball. With Makaya being double and sometimes tripled team he was able to create for other scorers.
Bezecourt benefited from Bryant’s over pursuit of Makaya. The freshman has been a stand out all season long for the Terriers and was able to put it all together tonight. His play helped send the team back to the NEC Championship game with a memorable performance.
On Sunday the Terriers will take on the St. Francis University Red Flash at 1 pm in the NEC Championship game. This marks their second consecutive trip to the finals and will look to repeat against the Red Flash.
Earlier this evening the Red Flash defeated number four seeded LIU Brooklyn to advance into the championship game. They finished with the best overall record in the conference which earned them the first seed.
The season comes down to one pivotal game, between two excellent teams. The stage has been set for yet another classic championship game.