Blais, Zapata Carry Cougars Past Rams, 3-0

Blais, Zapata Carry Cougars Past Rams, 3-0

Worcester, Mass. – Zack Blais (Tiverton, R.I.) had a career-high three assists and Oscar Zapata (Lima, Peru) scored a pair of first half goals to lift host Clark University to a 3-0 win over Framingham State in non-league men' soccer action at a rainy Granger Soccer Turf on Wednesday evening.

The win for the Cougars boosts their record to 7-9-2, while the Rams have now dropped five straight games to fall to 4-11-2.

Clark jumped on the scoreboard in the 11th minute when Alberto Polo-Herrera (Arlington, Va.) sent a long ball up the right flank to Blais, who took a few dribbles and delivered a cross through the box that Zapata touched home for a 1-0 lead.

The Cougars wasted little time doubling their lead when Michael Spanos (Waterford, Conn.) fired a long ball to a streaking Blais and his subsequent pass to the top of the six-yard box was drilled home by Zapata at 29:07.

Framingham State had a pair of great scoring opportunities in the second half but both were stopped by Connor Maguire (Dunstable, Mass.). The first came in the 71st minute when Tyler Jack (Chicopee, Mass.) broke free between two Cougar defenders and blasted a rocket that Maguire turned aside with a leaping stop that he deflected over the crossbar.

A few minutes later, Jaime Plowman (Westborough, Mass.) took a through ball and looked poised to slice the lead in half but his shot was snuffed out by a sliding Maguire the moment it left his foot.

Clark added another score late in the contest when Blais sent a fantastic diagonal pass to Tim Rovnak (Portland, Maine) that he was able to corral and tuck inside the right corner at 86:00.

The Rams held an 18-1 edge in shots and an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Alistair Richardson (Tolland, Conn.) started the contest for the Scarlet and White, playing the first 45 minutes while making five saves. Maguire, meanwhile, made three saves in the final 45 minutes in his first action since October 11.

Their counterpart, Jacob Nichols (Sturbridge, Mass.), made three saves for the Rams.

Clark is off until their regular season finale on Saturday at Wheaton where they will need to win and get help in order to advance to the New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) postseason tournament.

Framingham State, meanwhile, is in the thick of the race for a bid to the Massachusetts College Athletic Conference (MASCAC) postseason tournament as well. They will host Westfield State – a team along with Worcester State that they are tied with in the conference standings - on Saturday at noon.

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