QUINCY, Mass.- The No. 3 seed Eastern Nazarene College men's soccer team travels to top-seeded Lesley in the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament championship Sunday. The winner of Sunday's championship match will earn the conference's automatic-qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Location: Hormel Stadium | Medford, Mass.
Time: 5:30 pm
HOW THEY GOT HERE:
Eastern Nazarene finished the regular season with a 13-3-0 overall record to go with a 4-2 league mark to claim the No. 3 seed in the New England Collegiate Conference Tournament. The Lions blanked sixth-seeded Dean 2-0 in the NECC quarterfinals on goals from Bryan Vargas (San Jose, Costa Rica) and Charlie Swann (London, England). Eastern Nazarene topped New England College 6-1 in the semifinals as Leon Zaffonato (Canela, Brazil), Stanley Elie (Roslindale, Mass.), Jose Ruiz (Jerez de la Frontera, Spain), Sheelens Ostine (Quincy, Mass.), and Swann all notched goals.
Lesley earned the No. 1 seed with an 8-9-0 record on the year and a 5-1-0 mark in conference play. The Lynx blanked Elms 2-0 in the semifinals to reach the NECC Tournament finals for the first time since 2012.
Eastern Nazarene is making its second-straight trip to the NECC Tournament and 10th all-time postseason appearance. Last fall, the Lions clipped Lesley in overtime in the NECC Tournament first round before falling to Mitchell in the NECC semifinals. Sunday's match will mark the program's first-ever trip to the NECC Tournament championship game.
ENC vs. LESLEY – ALL-TIME SERIES:
Eastern Nazarene and Lesley have met on the pitch 11 times in the all-time series. The Lions own a 7-4-0 all-time record against the Lynx. Earlier this season, Eastern Nazarene dropped a narrow 1-0 decision at Lesley in the 2019 regular-season finale.
DEFEND THE DEN:
The Lions sport a 10-0-0 record in home games this season and have won their last 11 home matches. Eastern Nazarene has outscored visiting teams 30-9 this fall while limiting opponents to just 12 shot attempts per game.
15 WINS & COUNTING:
With its semifinal victory at New England College, Eastern Nazarene matched the program-record for wins in a single season. The previous mark was set by the Crusaders in 1994 en route to capturing the program's only Commonwealth Coast Conference championship.
Eastern Nazarene paces the conference with 47 goals on the year and 34 assists. Junior Charlie Swann (London, England) leads the league and ranks 12th in NCAA Division III with 17 tallies this season. Junior Leon Zaffonato (Canela, Brazil) paces the NECC with 10 assists to go along with 10 markers. The Lions have had 15 different goal-scorers this fall.
Eastern Nazarene garnered a league-best seven All-New England Collegiate Conference nods, as the conference announce the postseason awards Friday. Junior Charlie Swann (London, England) was named the NECC Player of the Year. Edmilson Centeio (New Bedford, Mass.), Stanley Elie (Roslindale, Mass.), Ismael Lobo (Brockton, Mass.), Carlos Moya (Oviedo, Spain), and Leon Zaffonato (Canela, Brazil) all joined Swann on the All-NECC first team while Tyler Ferreira (Berkley, Mass.) was tabbed to the All-NECC second team. Fourth-year head coach Mark Bell was voted the 2019 NECC Coach of the Year.