DUDLEY, Mass. – The Nichols College men's soccer team suffered a heart-breaking 2-1 setback in overtime to Salve Regina University in on Wednesday afternoon in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action at the Nichols Soccer Field in Dudley, Mass.
After a scoreless first half, senior Paul Sickinger (Tyngsboro, Mass.) opened the scoring in the 60th minute of the game off a feed from freshman Ryan Fraleigh (Rocky Hill, Conn.). The Bison were awarded a free kick from 45 yards out and Fraleigh played the ball into the box where Sickinger was there to hold off his defender and bicycle kick the ball home and give Nichols the 1-0 advantage.
Sickinger had a chance for a game-winner in the final minute of regulation, but Salve Regina junior goalie Michael Payan (Fort Lee, N.J.) was there for the stop as the game spilled into overtime.
Sickinger nearly ended the contest again only 1:01 into the first overtime, but his shot rang off the post. Salve Regina had a chance in the 94th minute when MacDonald worked his way through the defense to get free, and sophomore Juan Carlos De La Cruz (Stamford, Conn.) turned his shot away.
The Seahawks continued to maintain possession, and with only 1:29 to play in the first overtime, junior Conor Woods (Otisville, N.Y.) took the ball through the Nichols defense and after a quick give-and-go pass from senior Jared Warren (Georgetown, Mass.), continued his run through the box before firing a low shot past De La Cruz to give Salve Regina the 2-1 victory.
Salve Regina held a 21-16 advantage in shots in the game as well as a slight 2-1 edge in corner kicks. De La Cruz made eight saves in the setback, while Payan stopped five shots to earn the win for the Seahawks.
Today marked the 29th meeting between the two programs, with the Seahawks leading the series 19-8-2, however the Bison have won three of the past five meetings.
Nichols (6-7-2, 2-5-0 CCC) – Saturday, Oct. 21 at Roger Williams, 3:00 p.m.
Salve Regina (10-3-3, 4-2-1 CCC) – Saturday, Oct. 21 at Gordon, 7:00 p.m.