Terriers look to keep NECs in Brooklyn
SFC to battle LIU for right to host league championships
The St. Francis Brooklyn men’s soccer club is one win away from securing the outright Northeast Conference regular-season title and home-field advantage throughout the upcoming NEC Tournament.
The only problem is the Terriers’ competition for that coveted spot.
The Long Island University Sharks (10-4-2, 6-2 NEC) can grab the No. 1 seed and move the four-team playoff to Brookville, N.Y., if they can knock off visiting St. Francis (9-4-1, 7-1) Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m., in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Last season, the Sharks and Terriers also met in their last game for the right to earn a trip to the COVID-19 abbreviated two-team championship game and a berth in the NCAA College Cup.
LIU held on for a 120-minute scoreless draw against SFC at Brooklyn Bridge Park, clinching the second seed before falling to the Terriers on penalty kicks in the championship match, which was also played at BPP.
The Terriers went on to win their opening-round NCAA match for the first time since 1978 by upsetting Milwaukee. SFC also took No. 3 Indiana to penalty kicks in the second round before seeing its dream season end.
This year, the Sharks have a chance to claim the top seed and host the semifinals and final in Brookville, where they moved several years ago to the school’s former C.W. Post campus on Long Island.
LIU got that opportunity after crushing Mount Saint Mary’s, 5-1, last Sunday afternoon in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Sophomore Assane Ben Fall earned NEC Player of the Week honors after helping to end the Sharks’ two-game losing streak with a pair of goals.
Sophomore Emil Jaaskelainen, senior Henry Haferkorn and freshman Matthias Heiland also scored for LIU, which only needed one save from junior goalkeeper Demetri Skoumbakis.
Scoreboard watching didn’t help the Sharks, however, as the Terriers also cruised to victory, 2-0, at Central Connecticut State on Halloween.
Sophomore Ramchwy Saint VII and senior El Mahdi Youssoufi scored for SFC, which got three big saves from sophomore goalie David Santiago en route to its sixth consecutive win.
SFC and LIU have combined for seven of the last eight NEC crowns. The Terriers have won five and the Sharks, formerly known as Brooklyn’s Blackbirds, earned two crowns during that stretch.
Fairleigh Dickinson (5-1-2 NEC) and Bryant (5-3) have also locked up postseason spots.
The only thing left to decide is whether these four teams will battle it out in Brooklyn Heights or Brookville from Nov. 13-14.
As usual, the Terriers and Sharks will have to decide that on the pitch as they renew their annual rivalry next weekend.
The LIU women’s soccer club saw its season end last Sunday with its fifth consecutive loss, a 2-1 setback at Central Connecticut State.
Junior Tatiana Lizarraga scored the lone goal for the Sharks (2-11-2, 2-7-1), who stayed in contention thanks to the brilliant netminding of junior Kayla Detreux.
The 5-foot-7 Downington, Pennsylvania native faced 20 shots, including 11 on goal. She made nine saves but was unable to prevent Jamie Collimore’s game-winner in the 89th minute.
The Terriers (5-7-6, 3-4-3) suffered a Halloween blanking at the hands of Staten Island rival Wagner at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Junior goalie Klil Keshwar stopped six shots for SFC, which had a re-scheduled contest at Yale on tap for Wednesday afternoon.
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