RINDGE, N.H.- The No. 16 Merrimack men's soccer suffered its first loss of the 2010 campaign, falling to No. 25 Franklin Pierce 2-1 Sunday evening at Sodexo Field. The Warriors move to 6-1-0 on the year and 2-1-0 in the Northeast-10. The Ravens improve to 6-1-0 overall and 4-1-0 in the conference.
Franklin Pierce got the game's first goal just six minutes into the contest. Diego Tabares knocked in a cross from Paul Latif for the 1-0 advantage. The Ravens would hold onto the one-goal lead heading into halftime.
Latif increased the Ravens' lead to two goals as his free kick found the back of the net six minutes into the second period.
Down 2-0 in the closing minutes of the game, the Warriors earned a free kick near goal. Evan Burokas (Auburn, Mass.) put the ball on frame but his shot was saved. Robbie Sabadoz (Ottawa, Ontario) was right there to clean up the rebound and cut the deficit to one score.
Merrimack had its chances to knot the score in the final minute of the game. The Warriors were awarded a free kick just in their offensive end. All 10 players, including goalkeeper Evan Berube (Uxbridge, Mass.), flooded the penalty area as targets for Burokas taking the free kick. The ball was sent into the box but cleared out for a Merrimack throw-in with seconds remaining. Adam Leone (East Northport, N.Y.) rushed over to take the throw and send the ball back towards the net. Leone's long throw-in was flicked just wide of the goal as time expired.
Kevin Joyce (Mansfield, Mass.) made seven saves in 60 minutes of action for the Warriors. Berube came on in a relief effort and allowed no goals in 30 minutes of work. Vinny Papageorgiou turned aside four shots for Franklin Pierce.
The Ravens owned a slight edge in shots in the game, 13-11. Merrimack outshot Franklin Pierce in the second half, 7-6.
The Warriors will look to get back to their winning ways as they host No. 4 Southern New Hampshire at home September 29.