November 6, 2013



Willimantic, Conn.-Fourth-seeded Rhode Island College saw its season come to an end in a 4-1 loss to top-seeded Eastern Connecticut in semifinal action of the 2013 Little East Conference Men's Soccer Tournament on Wednesday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.


Freshman goalkeeper Chris Moura (Rumford, RI) made five saves in a losing effort. Rhode Island College (8-6-5) sees its season come to an end despite reaching the postseason for the ninth time in the last 10 years under Head Coach John Mello.


After closing out its third straight Regular Season Championship, Eastern Connecticut (11-3-4) advances to the Little East Conference Championship match to be played on Saturday and will face the winner of the other semifinal contest between Keene State vs. UMass Dartmouth. The Warriors, who have won back-to-back LEC Tournament Championships, advance to the finals for the third straight season and for the fifth time in the last seven years.



 Sophomore midfielder Tyler Pacheco


Undefeated in four LEC championship game appearances, Eastern (11-3-4) looks to become the first team in the 15-year history of the championship to win three straight championships when it hosts the title game Saturday at noon at Nevers Field.


Eastern Connecticut scored three goals in 14 minutes early in the second half to pull away from the Anchormen.


Eastern, now 8-1-1 at home, defeated UMass Dartmouth in the 2012 and 2009 title games and Keene State in the 2007 and 2011 finals. Keene has won a record six LEC playoff titles, most recently with a 1-0 win over Rhode Island in 2010. UMass Dartmouth has reached the final in 2000, 2009 and 2012, losing each time.


Seniors Luke Capezzone (Colchester, CT) and Mitch Power (Douglas, MA), sophomore Timothy Jennison (Coventry, CT) and freshman Alejandro Tobon (West Hartford, CT) all scored once for Eastern, with Power, Jennison and freshman Eric Fiore (Newtown, CT) all being credited with assists.


With Eastern leading 1-0 at halftime, Capezzone’s second goal of the season five minutes into the second half gave Eastern a two-goal cushion and opened the floodgates. Power followed with his team-leading ninth five minutes later, and Tobon’s second of the year less than nine minutes after Power’s pushed the lead to 4-0 with 20 minutes gone in the half.


Jennison broke a scoreless tie midway through the first half  when Power found him at the near post on a cross from the left wing for his sixth goal of the season. Jennison then capitalized on a Rhode Island miscue in the Anchormen third of the field. He gained possession on the left side and sent cross all the way through the box to an unmarked Capezzone at the far post. Capezzone one-timed it into the back of the net before Moura could move into position.


In the 55th minute, Jennison was taken down just outside the box and Power’s free kick was a high blast that carried under the cross bar. Playing in his first match in seven weeks, Fiore set up Tobon’s goal that made it 4-0 in the 64th minute. Fiore’s cross from the right side was tapped in by Tobon at the far post.


Eastern freshman keeper Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) was called upon for only one save and did not allow a goal before giving way to freshman Curtis Barnes (Amherst, MA), who worked the final 15 minutes.


RIC sophomore midfielder Tyler Pacheco (Tiverton, RI) spoiled the host's shutout bid with a goal in the 89th minute. Classmate midfielder Camilo Estrada (Pawtucket, RI) set up the strike.


Eastern, which has not allowed a goal to a conference opponent at home this year, had squeezed past Rhode Island on Power’s only goal of the match with 17 seconds left when the teams met Oct. 19 at Nevers Field. 


The four goals equal the second-most in a match this year and are the most by either team in this series since Eastern claimed a 4-0 road decision in 1993.