SALEM, Mass. - Gabriel Meireles' (Everett, Mass.) goal and two-assist performance helped the #3 Salem State Vikings (12-3-3) eliminate the #6 Fitchburg State Falcons 5-1 to advance to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) semifinals against #2 Bridgewater State on Friday.
The Vikings took a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute. Salem State took a corner and Gabriel Meireles (Everett, Mass.) delivered a cross to Felipe Montiel (Maracaibo, Venezuela) for a low goal from four yards out.
Inside the box, Hamza Ewiess (Amherst, N.H.) gave a touch pass to Edwin Demoya (Salem, Mass.) for a goal that went under the goalkeeper Branton Abbett's (Jasper, Ind.) legs for a 2-0 Salem State lead in the 34th minute.
In the 39th minute, Demoya assisted Meireles, who took a high curving shot over Abbett's reach. The shot was from 15 yards gave the Vikings a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Marckdonard Bastien (Worcester, Mass.) scored the first goal for Fitchburg State with a quick, hard shot in the 40th minute narrowing the gap to two goals. Salem State led 3-1 at halftime.
In the second half, Grace Dos Santos (Brockton, Mass.) scored two goals within a minute. His first score came off an assist from Igor Caldas (Vitoria, Brazil) when Abbett was caught out of position with an easy goal in the 70th minute. In the 71st minute, Dos Santos' second goal occured on a counter-attack when Meireles assisted Dos Santos with a lead pass for his second goal giving the Vikings a 5-1 lead.
Goalkeepers Abbett and Colby Mason (Athol, Mass.) combined for four saves for the Falcons. Christopher Jimenez saved three shots in the match.
The Vikings will square off against the #2 Bridgewater State for the MASCAC semifinal in Bridgewater at 3:30 p.m. on November 2nd. Fitchburg State finishes their season at 5-11-1.