NEW LONDON, N.H. – The second-seeded Colby-Sawyer Chargers came from behind twice to defeat the sixth-seeded Maine Maritime Academy men's soccer team 4-3 on Wednesday afternoon in the NAC Semifinals at Kelsey Field.
The Chargers improve to 11-6 and advance to the NAC Championship. Colby-Sawyer will play the winner of top-seeded Castleton and fourth-seeded New England College matchup. Maine Maritime ends their season at 5-10-3.
Colby-Sawyer notched the game-winning goal in the 79th minute off the foot of Mohamed Jafar. Andrew Broening dribbled down the left side and sent a ball towards the box. Ryan Player was there to receive the pass and one-touched the ball to Jafar who found the back of the net with his first game-winner of the season.
The Chargers opened the game with an early goal from Yannick Gonsalves in the seventh minute. Jake Sykes placed in a free kick from the left side, which was headed in by Gonsalves to give Colby-Sawyer a 1-0 lead.
Less than a minute later, Maine Maritime tied the game when Matthew Caron (Scarborough, Maine) found the ball on a broken play and beat the goalie one-on-one.
In the 15th minute, Caron added his second goal of the game and put the Mariners in front 2-1. After an initial shot by sophomore Evan Backus (Farmington, Maine) was saved, Caron put back the rebound with his ninth goal of the season.
The Mariners took a 2-1 lead into the half and held a 7-4 edge in shots.
Colby-Sawyer found the equalizer in the 59th minute off the foot of Ryan Player. Sykes sent a cross towards the box that was volleyed inside the near post past the diving Maine Maritime keeper.
The Mariners took the lead again in the 61st minute when Caron netted his third goal of the game, giving him the hat-trick and his 10th goal of the season.
Noah Camelo tied things up for the Chargers, two minutes later when he headed in a corner kick from Sykes in the 63rd minute.
Maine Maritime's Joshua Reeks (Bedford, N.H.) stopped seven shots, including multiple sprawling efforts in the loss, while Colby-Sawyer's goalie Shane Sacks tallied five saves in the victory.
The Chargers held a slim 17-15 advantage in shots, but a 12-4 margin in corner kicks.