|Nichols College||University of New England|
BIDDEFORD, Maine — Michail Bilek (JR/Hebron, Conn.) scored the only goal of the match with just under 20 minutes to play to give the University of New England a 1-0 victory over Nichols College in Commonwealth Coast Conference men’s soccer action Saturday afternoon (Oct. 15) at Barbara J. Hazard Field.
Bilek’s goal came after a broken UNE set piece. Initially, Callum Heaslewood (FY/London, England) sent the ball deep into the Nichols box, where it was knocked around multiple times before Nick Paine (JR/Dartmouth, Mass.) used his heel to direct it toward the goal. A Bison defender blocked the attempt but Bilek was right there to drive it into the net with 19:59 on the clock for his first marker of the season.
Despite being out-shot 8-2 over the initial 45 minutes, UNE hung tough and began to apply pressure in its offensive end in the second half. The Nor’easters nearly broke the stalemate in the 67th minute, but Nichols keeper Patrick Porpora (SO/Westminster, Mass.) denied a point-blank shot by Flynn Willsea (SO/Naples, N.Y.), and a Bison defender thwarted Ryan Stephens’ (SR/Stow, Mass.) attempted rebound conversion at the goal line.
The Nor’easters’ defense limited the number of Nichols quality scoring opportunities. The Bison led 14-9 in shots but just two were on-frame. Elijah Leverett (SR/North Yarmouth, Maine) was credited with one stop in the shutout, while Popora finished with three.