|University of Southern Maine||Eastern Connecticut State University|
WILLAMANTIC, Connecticut – Junior forward Xavier Doran scored twice in a span of four minutes midway through the second half as the Eastern Connecticut State University Warriors men’s soccer team remained in contention for a Little East Conference playoff berth with a 4-0 victory over the University of Southern Maine Saturday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.
A victory next Saturday at Rhode Island College at 1 p.m. in the season-finale will unofficially guarantee Eastern one of the four post-season berths in the eight-team conference. Southern Maine (1-11-3, 0-6 LEC) dropped its sixth straight this year and ninth in a row to Eastern.
Eastern took the early lead midway through the first half but could not pad its lead until Doran scored his third of the year with 24:25 left in the match to make it 2-0. He followed just over four minutes later by knocking in a head ball off a throw-in from freshman back Nick Starkowski (Marlborough) to make it 3-0, and freshman midfielder George Spanos’ (Waterford) first career goal and point off a cross from freshman forward Griffin Luczek with just over two minutes remaining closed out the scoring.
Doran helped set up sophomore forward Justin Grant’s third goal of the season in the 25th minute to give the Warriors the early lead. Doran set up the goal by winning a USM throw-in and working a give-and-go with sophomore forward Justin Jensen. Grant beat USM sophomore keeper Simon Hulbert in a 1v1 opportunity from close range on the right wing after taking a feed from Doran.
Doran’s drive from the top of the box landed under the crossbar to make it 2-0 in the 66th minute, with Jensen also being credited with an assist.
Hulbert made five saves while sophomore Ryan Murphy and freshman Joseph Lucy (Shelton) combined on the shutout. Murphy made the only Eastern save