LAKEWOOD, N.J. (November 5, 2017) -- Nicholas Ladeira chipped in a goal with just 65 seconds left in the first overtime to complete Goldey-Beacom College's come-from-behind, 2-1, win over Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) in Sunday's 2017 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Men's Soccer Championship Final at the GCU Turf Field on the Georgian Court University campus in Lakewood, N.J.
With the win, G-B not only captured the CACC crown, but locked up the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament, which will be held next week at a site to be determined. It marked the first year the league was able to hand out an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in the sport of men's soccer. Jefferson will now have to wait word on its fate as a potential at-large team for next week's regional, as the Rams have been ranked in the NCAA regional poll the entire season.
Ladeira was named the most valuable player of the CACC Men's Soccer Championship, as he was outstanding throughout the entire tournament, including his thrilling match-winner. It marked the second-straight match the Lightning had to rally from a 1-0 deficit to pull out an overtime win, as they turned the trick in a 2-1 triumph over sixth-seeded Post University in the semifinals on Friday. Jefferson entered Sunday's final as the tournament's No. 1 seed, while Goldey-Beacom was No. 2.
Chahin Aghrim set up Ladeira's winner, as he moved down the right side and worked his way to the corner and sent a crossing pass towards the mouth of the goal. Ladeira was able to make his way to the front of the net and chipped a shot to the upper portion of the net past a leaping Jefferson keeper Ben Sauer, as it set off a wild celebration for the Lightning.
Despite allowing the goal, Sauer was nothing short of sensational in net in the second half, as he made several top-flight saves to keep the match tied at 1-1. His counterpart, Goldey's Suhail Bismilla, was just a strong in goal and made a couple nice stops himself in the match to keep things even. Bismilla made four stops in the win, while Sauer made five in the tough setback.
Both sides played well, as it turned out to be one of the most exciting men's finals in conference history. Jefferson got the scoring started in the 25th minute when Seiji Rose lofted a nice kick into the box that Pedro Neto was able to head past a diving Bismilla.
It took Goldey-Beacom just six minutes to respond, as the Lightning started building momentum on Jefferson's side and eventually worked a corner-kick attempt in the 31st. Nicolas Jaramillo dropped the corner right in the middle of the box, as Ethan Maguire jumped over several Jefferson defenders to head in a shot to knot it at 1-1.
Maguire had a Grade-A scoring chance in the second half to make it 2-1, but Sauer stoned him that enabled the match to head into extra time. Maguire finished with a match-high four shots and three going on net.
2017 CACC MEN'S SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Lorne Bickley (Wilmington University)
Alex Garcia (Nyack College)
Kenu Walker (Post University)
Eden Gendler (Post University)
Nicholas Calabia (Bloomfield College)
Warwick Sterling (Bloomfield College)
Seiji Rose (Jefferson)
Pedro Neto (Jefferson)
Ben Sauer (Jefferson)
Suhail Bismilla (Goldey-Beacom College)
Nicholas Ladeira (Goldey-Beacom College)
Chahin Aghrim (Goldey-Beacom College)
Levi Maruca (Goldey-Beacom College)
Mateus Silvestre (Goldey-Beacom College)
MVP: Nicholas Ladeira
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Nyack College, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.