The Framingham State Rams men’s soccer team won both of their games this week – the Saturday game versus Worcester State 2-0, and the Wednesday game versus Dean College 4-1.
On Saturday, the Rams beat the Worcester State Lancers 2-0 in a defensive match that saw both Rams goals come within a minute apart from each other.
After a first half that saw no scoring from either team, Gustavo Cassemiro put the Rams on the board to take a 1-0 lead. He dribbled past two defenders to score his sixth goal on the season.
Under a minute later, Cassemiro added to the Rams’ lead with a great pass that was redirected by Bryant Nardizzi who gave it to Isaac De Souza for his fifth goal of the season.
The Rams were outshot 15-12 by the Lancers, but put more shots on goal 7-6, and capitalized on fouls. The Lancers committed seven more fouls than the Rams in the contest.
Goalie Corey Davidge played a great game in net for the Rams, holding the Lancers scoreless on all of their shot attempts. He has two consecutive shutouts in his last two starts against Mass. Maritime and Worcester State.
On Wednesday, in a matchup with the Dean College Bulldogs, the Rams dominated the offensive side of the ball in route to a 4-1 win. The Rams took a whopping 46 shots compared to the Bulldogs’ seven.
In the 16th minute, Cassemiro almost started the Rams scoring on a shot that had deflected off Bulldog goalie, Bryce Antoch, but it missed off the post.
Roughly 15 minutes later, Isaac De Souza scored on a great pass by Ibrahim Kyeyune. Kyeyune dribbled the ball through the left side of the defense and set De Souza up for an easy open shot to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.
After a goal six minutes later by Paulo Correia of Dean, the Rams did not put another goal on the board until the 71st minute. They had numerous shots that went wide, or were saved by Antoch, and everyone watching knew it was only a matter of time before they started to go in.
Finally, after a deep unassisted goal from Bryce Nardizzi in the 71st minute, the Rams took a 2-1 lead. Cassemiro put his seventh goal of the season in the net in the 78th minute, followed by a goal by Bryant Nardizzi to give the Rams a 4-1 lead.
The Rams’ offense was very dominant in the game, and it was evident with the difference in the number of shots between the two teams. The Bulldogs never got anything going on offense, but did make the most out of the minimal opportunities they had to score. Cassemiro led the team with 13 shots in the game. Antoch performed well under the circumstances, making 16 saves on the 20 shots the Rams put on net.
With the win over Dean, the Rams are now 6-6 on the season, including a great 3-0 MASCAC record, and they look like a much-improved team since their rocky 2-4 start to the season.
Coach Dean Nichols commended the defense after the game, saying the improvements they have made have been crucial to their success.
“We’re not turning the ball over as much as we did early on. Earlier in the season, we were gifting teams goals, but now we’re making them work much harder to score on us,” he said.
Cassemiro, the Rams’ star freshman, received the MASCAC Rookie of the Week Award for his efforts in the Worcester State 2-0 victory that kept the Rams undefeated in the conference. On the season, he now has seven goals, which is good enough for second in the MASCAC, and one goal behind the league lead. He also leads the conference with five assists and 19 points.
Coach Nichols had nothing but praise to give the new Rams star. “He’s a very dynamic player. He can basically do everything with the ball at his feet. He’s a handful for the other team to try to defend. He’s got the speed, quickness, ball skills – he really has it all,” he said.
The Rams look to continue their winning ways against Westfield State on Oct. 12.