Sophomore back Josue Cruz scored with 12 minutes left in the second half to lift No. 3 nationally-ranked Region XV school Nassau Community College over No. 5 Manchester Community College 3-2 in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Division III District III (Northeast) Men’s Soccer Tournament championship Tuesday afternoon at the McCormick Athletic Complex.
Cruz made a 30-yard, bending free kick to the upper middle portion of the net just over eight minutes later for the deciding goal.
Manchester Community College had four scoring opportunities after Cruz’s goal. Manchester nearly had the game-tying goal with eight minutes left, sending an eight-yard, waist-high shot to the middle of the goal resulting in Nassau CC sophomore goalkeeper Filippo Rappa making a diving, reaction save. Manchester's forward/midfielder sent a six-yard shot over the net and had a 10-yard shot deflected away by a diving Rappa.
The Lions (18-1-1 overall), the 2006 NJCAA Region XV champion, tied the score at 1-1 on freshman forward Mike Adamcewicz’s goal at 37:30. Adamcewicz made a 15-yard header to the upper right corner off a corner kick by freshman midfielder Graeme Roderick.
Nassau Community College built a 2-1 lead on Roderick’s goal at 57:35 off a penalty kick. Roderick made the PK to the lower left side.
Manchester Community College outshot Nassau CC, 15-13. MCC freshman goalkeeper Artur Czupryna made seven saves. Rappa recorded five saves, all in the second half.
Manchester scored more goals against the Lions (2) than all but two teams this season – Suffolk County CC-Selden (3) and Dutchess Community College (3). Nassau CC allowed one goal four times and recorded 13 shutouts.
Nassau Community College advanced to the NJCAA Division III Men's Soccer Tournament Final Four at Wehrum Stadium in Herkimer, N.Y., on Nov. 11-12.
NJCAA Division III District III (Northeast) Men’s Soccer Tournament championship/NJCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament quarterfinal
Nassau Community College 3, Manchester Community College 2
at Manchester, Conn.
Nassau CC (18-1-1) 1 2 -- 3
MCC (15-4-1) 1 1 -- 2
Scoring: M-Jemmy Cange (Santiago Meira) 31:00; N-Mike Adamcewicz (Graeme Roderick) 37:30; N-Roderick 57:35; M-Andreas Blamo (Jacob Marcus) 69:55; N-Josue Cruz 78:00. Shots: N-13, M-15; Saves: N-Filippo Rappa 5, M-Artur Czupryna 7. Corner kicks: N-4, M-2.