WATERVILLE, ME- The top-seeded Thomas men's soccer team advanced to the NAC Finals with a decisive 4-0 victory over fourth-seeded Maine Maritime Academy on Wednesday evening.
The Terriers came out with aggression from the start and were able to strike the game's first goal in the 17th minute, when junior Paul Rechichi (Kingsley, Australia) was able to head in a touch from sophomore Kenny Cano (Lowell, Mass.) to give Thomas the early lead. The Terrier offense kept up the attack as five minutes later sophomore Dakota DuPlissie (Hampden, Maine) would fire a shot past the keeper for the goal and a 2-0 lead. The rest of the first half featured some intense play defensively and neither team would net another goal, keeping the halftime score at a 2-0 lead for Thomas.
The second half was more of the same early on, as the physicality was picking up. It wasn't until the 72nd minute when Thomas would score off of a Khamisi Lightbourne (Sandy's, Bermuda) throw in to increase its lead to 3-0. Freshman Joshua Phelps (Maroochydor, Australia) would get a touch over to junior Michael Hand (Essex, England) who attempted a bicycle kick that would get over to the foot of sophomore Marcus Johnson (Sandy's, Bermuda) that was a buried into the net for the goal.
Johnson would score again just over a minute later off another feed from Hand to push the game out of reach for Maine Maritime. The Mariners were able to outshoot the Terriers 15 to 12 and hold the advantage in corners at five to three. Junior goalkeeper Mikkail Crockwell (St. David's, Bermuda) recorded seven saves in net for Thomas, while Mariner goalie Trace Lecour (Charlottesville, Va.) had four saves in the losing effort.
Thomas will now host the second-seeded Husson University Eagles for the North Atlantic Conference championship on Saturday afternoon on the Black Field on the campus of Thomas College.