NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Johnathan Diaz scores two goals as the Knights defeated the Seawolves on Opening Day

On Wednesday, Sept. 7 the NECC Knights Men’s Soccer team opened the 2022 campaign by defeating Southern Maine Community College 3 to 1 at Portland, Maine.

Both teams were warming up before the game doing their normal pre-game routine. The referee called the captain of both teams for a toss up to see who would get the ball first.

It was Southern Maine getting the ball first by winning the coin toss from Northern Essex.

The referee blew the whistle at 4:03 p.m. for the start of the game.

The Knights 10 minutes in into the game did a quick change — it was Sem Millambo of Lawrence who came in for Zack Mahaba of Boxford.

The Knights’ first foul came 15 minutes into the game by Andrew Valdez of Lawrence.

On the 26 minutes the Knights were awarded a penalty kick. It was Jonathan Diaz of Methuen who took the shot and scored the first point of the game to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.

Knights Soccer warming up before there game against Southern Maine Photo by Editor-in-Chief/ Sports Editor Jose Rodriguez

Knights Soccer warming up before there game against Southern Maine

On the 31 minutes a foul was called on Jake Igoe of Haverhill. Southern Maine was awarded a free kick.

Six minutes between his first goal Diaz did it again, his second goal of the game put the Knights 2-0.

On the 41 minute the referee pulled a yellow card to Gabe Moreira of Dracut.

I had a chance to talk to head coach, Coach Eusebio Marote after the game and asked how important was having a 2-0 lead at the half.

 “It’s huge we’re going into the second half, you know being in the good end of it …gives you more confidence that you finished off the game on top,” he said.

The Knights in the first half had nine shots on goal while Southern Maine had seven. The Knights also had three corner kicks while Southern Maine had none. Both teams committed three fouls while Knights goalkeeper had four saves in the first half and Southern Maine three. In the first half the Knights just had one yellow card while Southern Maine none.

On the 48 minutes of the game Sam De Amorim of Methuen cored the third goal of the game. All three goals for the Knights were unassisted, two from Diaz and one from De Amorim.

On the 52 minutes Matheus Moreira of Dracut  was issued with another yellow card which means he had two yellow card which equals a red card. The Knights played the final 38 minutes with one man short.

On the 68 minutes the Knights goalie Anhuar Ramos Garcia of Nashua, New Hampshire, was issued a yellow card.

Coach Morate was issued a yellow card for arguing the call in the field during the 71 minutes of the game.

“I personally spoke one time about a foul on one of my players that I thought it was dangerous play, I think he didn’t see it, you know my players could get really seriously injured. I’m here for my players I had to talk about it because it got on scene overlooked, I think we deserve a penalty in that situation so it was a little miscommunication I guess with me and the ref. At the end of the day it is what it is I believe it was my first one as a coach so it’s going to happen one day,” he said.

Southern Maine first yellow card of the game came in the 74 minutes. It was David Wilson of Merrimac.

Emerson Murillo of Haverhill had a yellow card in the 75 minutes.

On the 82 minutes Laszlo Dorogi of West Boylston scored the first goal for Southern Maine, an assist of Eriksen Shea of Freeport, Maine.

Southern Maine outscored the Knights in the second half on shots on goal 14 to 3 .

“We were a man down like 38 minutes left in the game,so being with a man down obviously a lot more tired to go forward, you got to defend a little harder. Teams are putting a little bit more pressure on you so at that point you focusing on not allowing a goal keeping the lead three goal up so it’s a good cushion trying to defend out we finished it off,” Coach Marote said.

The Knights had four saves in the second half while Southern Maine one. Both teams had two corner kicks while the Knights had seven fouls and Southern Maine two.