RINDGE — Junior forward Yannik Felber (Vallendar, Germany) tallied a new personal-high with three goals and six points as the No. 2 seeded Franklin Pierce University men’s soccer team roasted the No. 7-seed Bentley University Falcons, 5-1, in the Northeast-10 Conference Championship Quarterfinals Saturday evening on a chilly Sodexo Field.
With the win, the Ravens improved to 13-3-1 and advanced to the NE-10 Championship Semifinals for the first time since the 2016 season. The Falcons’ year ended with their sixth straight setback as they fell to 8-9 overall.
Felber, the No. 18 nationally ranked junior forward, was a force on the pitch as he recorded his first career hat trick. Over the course of his Raven career, he has shined the brightest on the big stage, with six career game-winning goals. He bettered his five-point career-effort last week in the 4-1 upset of previously No. 2 nationally-ranked Adelphi. The reigning NE10 Player of the Week set a new single-season career-best with seven goals and 17 points.
Senior netminder Jadel Poon-Lewis (Diego Martin, Trinidad, and Tobago) earned the start in the cage for the Ravens and saved three shot attempts in 77:23 in net as he remained unblemished on the year (6-0-0). Sophomore goalie Paul Zumbo (Northford, Conn.) got into the action and allowed the only goal, a header with 16 seconds to go.
As they did in their previous matchup, the Ravens outshot their counterparts by a 20-to-8 margin.
Junior forward Antonio Ferreira (Madrid, Spain) assisted on two of Felber’s three tallies. The first came five minutes into the game when Felber touched his cross attempt into the bottom right of the net. Ferreira’s second helper came in the 25th minute as he crossed the ball again to his teammate this time on the right side of the box and it was headed home. That was the fourth goal in the opening 25 minutes of the game.
Cristobal Andreu (Castellón de la Plana, Spain) and Javier Nemesio García (Alacuas, Spain) accounted for the other two goals of the first half. Andreu cashed in a corner kick headed home high and Nemesio García smoked a shot from yards out that clipped a Bentley player’s head and bounced into the back of the net.
Felber wrapped up the scoring in the 49th minute as he was fouled in the Raven attacking zone box. He was awarded a penalty shot and roped the attempt to the lower left corner of the net. The penalty kick chance was surprisingly the first one of the year for the Ravens — and they made it count.
Franklin Pierce next hosts the College of Saint Rose, in the round of four on Wednesday, with the time yet to be determined.