Updated: Nov 5
By Adam Levine
The Framingham State Rams beat the Worcester State Lancers 3-1 in double overtime in the first round of the MASCAC Tournament at the Maple Street Field Oct. 31.
The Rams and Lancers battled for 110 minutes to decide who will move on to the MASCAC Tournament Semifinal game.
After 90 minutes of regulation and two 10-minute overtime periods, Framingham emerged victorious.
Framingham’s win extends their win streak to six games, which is their longest win streak this season.
Their last loss was in their first matchup to Worcester, which ended 3-1 Oct. 14.
Framingham’s senior forward, Jeffson Malachie, said their win was “a completely different game” compared to their previous matchup with Worcester.
Kunphel Sinha, a senior captain and a midfielder, said “Changes were made by the coaching staff” between the two matchups.
“The team just followed through and we performed,” he said.
The Lancers dominated the offensive statistics, taking 25 shots and nine corner kicks in comparison to just 11 shots and two corner kicks from the Rams.
Worcester began the match strong, taking shots and penalty corners without any response from the Rams.
During the 19th minute of the match, the Lancers snuck one past Framingham’s goalkeeper, Joey Sturzo, for the first goal of the game.
Although Worcester’s Wilber Garcia was credited for the goal, an error on Framingham’s defense resulted in an own-goal.
Framingham responded with an offensive strike of their own.
Pass after pass after pass, the Rams marched down the field.
Malachie capped off the attack with a goal after a pass from forward Gustav Hemmingsen.
Hemmingsen said, “The game was going kind of slow, so my mindset was just trying to pick it up, make it faster, try and find the right paths.”
Malachie said, “At first, I didn’t know I was going to get the ball.
“The defender jumped, he missed it, and I thought ‘Oh, this is my chance to score.’
“I took a chance - found composure and everything - and I finished,” he added.
Framingham tied the game 1-1 in the 26th minute of the first half.
Neither team let up, but the scoreboard still read 1-1, a tie, after the remaining 64 minutes of regulation.
After allowing the first goal, Sturzo recorded five saves for the Rams.
The 90-minute regulation began to weigh on the players and the exhaustion was evident to the fans as time expired.
Framingham came out for the first 10-minute overtime period with a spark in their game.
Less than three minutes into overtime, Hemmingsen stole the ball, turned, and shot. The ball flew past Worcester’s goalie and the Rams celebrated a 2-1 lead.
Hemmingsen said, “To be honest, I didn’t even know the goalie was off his line.”
He said Sinha, who was playing striker with him, told him to shoot.
“I decided to trust him,” Hemmingsen said. “Goes to show, put your trust in your teammate and we’ll make it work.
Hemmingsen’s goal was a much-needed kindle to the Rams’ flame.
Framingham continued to pressure Worcester.
With fewer than two minutes remaining in the first overtime, Framingham’s Arthur Santos Da Silva assisted Sinha on the final goal of the game.
Sinha said, “The goal was me instinctively reading the goalie positioning and I shot my shot.”
The Rams held off the Lancers’ ill-fated attack in the final overtime period.
Sturzo saved both of Worcester’s shots and the Rams held on for their 3-1 victory.
The Rams travel to Bridgewater for the MASCAC Tournament Semifinal game Nov. 3.
Sinha said the matchup with Bridgewater will be a “dog fight.”
“Friday will be just another game,” he said. “They don’t know what’s coming.”