NEW LONDON, Conn.—Junior Robert Copeland scored off a rebound in the 80th minute leading second-seeded Coast Guard to a 1-0 win over seventh-seeded Western New England in the first round of the ECAC Division III New England tournament.
Coast Guard (12-6-1), making its sixth ECAC tournament appearance in the last ten years, will take on the winner of tomorrow's first round game between third-seeded Lasell and sixth-seeded Endicott on Saturday at a time and place to be announced. The Bears won the 2008 ECAC New England Championship, its last appearance in postseason play.
If top-seeded Roger Williams wins its first round game on Wednesday, the Hawks will the host the semifinals and championship on Saturday and Sunday. If Roger Williams loses, the final three games of the tournament will be held at the Coast Guard Academy.
Copeland scored the game winner with 10:11 left off a rebound. Copeland took the first shot, classmate Matt Epperly appeared to score off the rebound, but the ball at on the goal line, not in the goal, before Copeland sent the ball in the upper right corner for the only goal of the game.
Coast Guard carried the play throughout as they outshot the Golden Bears 23-5. Coast Guard had the best opportunity in the opening half, but junior John Rendon's off balance shot near the left post in the 27th minute missed.
The Bears had a couple of opportunities in the first five minutes of the second half with junior Robert Copeland having a good look in the first minute and sophomore Matthew Bogdan blasting a shot that was saved by senior Nick Starr five minutes in to keep the game scoreless.
Western New England had its first threat when senior Bobby Jameson's shot near the right post was wide right with 31:50 remaining in regulation.
Coast Guard appeared to take the lead with 13:15 left in the second half when freshman Lukas Benedetto scored, but was called off sides.
Sophomore Richie Burns (11-4-1) made three saves in goal for Coast Guard to record his sixth shutout of the season while Starr (7-4) made six saves for Western New England.
The Golden Bears finish the season 9-9-3.
Junior Bobby Copeland's Post Game Comments