NEW LONDON, Conn. – After playing to a 1-1 stalemate through 110 minutes in the first round of the 2019 New England Collegiate Conference Men's Soccer Championship, fifth-seeded Elms College advanced past fourth-seeded Mitchell College by a 4-2 decision in penalty kicks on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field.
The Blazers (5-10-4 overall) move on to face top-seeded Lesley University in the semifinals on Thursday, November 7 at 8 p.m. Mitchell ends the season with a record of 4-10-2.
After each team converted in the first round of penalty kicks, Elms goalkeeper Julian Brosi made a save to give the visitors the advantage. With the Blazers holding a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth round, the Mariners missed their second PK over the crossbar and gave Yanni Koci a chance to end the contest. He calmly buried his ensuing attempt to send the Elms sideline into wild celebration.
Each half in regulation featured one goal, with Mason Rubino scoring for the Mariners with just three seconds remaining in the first. It was his first goal of the season and just the second of his career, both of which have come in postseason play. Mitchell held the 1-0 margin until Justin Szwajkowski (Westhampton, Mass./Hampshire Regional) tied the game in the 75th minute with his fourth goal of the year. His shot from close range deflected off a Mitchell defender and snuck past goalkeeper Seth Strader for the equalizer.
Neither 10-minute overtime period yielded a golden goal, although each team had chances. Alex Egan got a good look for the Blazers in the 103rd minute but missed, and Mitchell's Nathan Lehner slid a shot just inches past the right post in the 107th.
Mitchell held a 21-11 edge in total shots. Brosi finished with eight saves while Strader made three.