WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University's four-match winning streak and five-match unbeaten streak came to an end Saturday as the Falcons were beaten by No. 25 Merrimack 1-0 in Northeast-10 men's soccer on Senior Day.
In a key battle between two of the NE-10's top teams that had implications on playoff seeding, the visiting Warriors came away with the hard-fought victory that extended its unbeaten streak to nine matches.
With two matches to go in the regular season Bentley's record falls to 6-3-2 in the NE-10, while Merrimack improves to 8-2-1 in conference play.
In a defensive struggle where scoring chances were at a premium, the match came down to Merrimack converting its best chance into a goal while Bentley missed its two best opportunities.
The Warriors' goal came off a 30-yard screamer of a shot by senior Franklin Lemus Pena that hit the left post, only for the rebound to come right to the foot of senior Olof Lindhe. Lindhe had a wide open net and calmly knocked the ball in to give Merrimack a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute.
Bentley's best two chances came early in the second half. A 30-yard strike from sophomore back Tom Fitzpatrick (Coventry, Conn./East Catholic), coming from the right wing, was just tipped over the crossbar by Merrimack keeper Jose Silva in the 49th minute.
Just minutes later junior Cody Osgood (Harvard, Mass./The Bromfield School) had the ball bounce to him just outside the penalty area with space, allowing him to get a shot off from 20-yards that went just over the bar.
That was the last time Bentley seriously threatened to score, and Merrimack held on for the win.
Bentley now plays its final two matches of the regular season on the road, beginning Tuesday night at Franklin Pierce. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm.