BEVERLY, Mass. – Endicott senior forward Abdulla Al Khalifa (Riffa, Bahrain) buried a penalty kick goal in the 84th minute to lift the Gulls to a 1-0 victory over Wentworth on Wednesday evening at Hempstead Stadium.
Endicott was awarded its penalty kick opportunity late in the match after a foul was called in the top left corner of the box immediately following an Al Khalifa free kick that was sent towards the left post. Khalifa then went on to deposit his team-leading eighth goal of the season (third game-winner) into the back of the net to help the Gulls extend their undefeated streak to 12 straight games.
Wentworth's Alberto Benhamu (Caracas, Venezuela) nearly tied the game at the 89:07 mark with a hard shot towards the lower left post, but Endicott junior goalkeeper Nick Weinstein (Trumbull, Conn.) made a diving stop to keep the shutout intact. Weinstein now has a single-season 10 clean sheets in 2015.
The Leopards controlled play in the opening 10 minutes of the matchup firing off five shots (one on goal), before both teams exchanged possession for the rest of the stanza.
In the second half, Wentworth senior Sam Martins (Dartmouth, Mass.) had a quality scoring chance turned away by Weinstein in the 55th minute, while Endicott senior Diego Slobotzky (Mexico City, Mexico) had a breakaway opportunity thwarted by Leopards' freshman goalkeeper Matthew Sekerak (Winthrop, Maine) who made a diving stop to his right at the 60:31 mark to highlight the scoring opportunities prior to Al Khalifa's successful penalty kick.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- Wentworth entered today's game ranked No. 11 overall in the NCAA New England Regional rankings, and No. 10 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) New England Regional poll.
- Prior to this week's installment of the NCAA New England Regional rankings, the Leopards have never earned a selection to the NCAA New England Regional rankings in program history from the NCAA Division III Men's Soccer Committee.
- Endicott entered today's contest ranked No. 4 in the NSCAA New England Regional rankings. The Gulls also received seven votes in the NSCAA National poll.
- The Gulls hold a 9-7-2 advantage in the all-time series, which dates back to prior to 2001.
- The last four meetings between the two programs have gone into overtime.
- Endicott is 6-3 all-time at home versus the Leopards.
- The Gulls posted their third shutout against Wentworth in program history; the last 1-0 victory before today over the Leopards came on Sept. 28, 2013 at home in overtime.
- Today's match was the first non-overtime victory for the Gulls over Wentworth since a 3-1 decision on Sept. 30, 2009.
- Weinstein, who registered eight saves in the triumph against the Leopards today, is now the program's all-time leader in wins in a single-season with 12 passing Alex Jorge on the list (11 wins in 2014).
- Al Khalifa tied his career-high with eight goals in a season (2013) with today's marker.
- Al Khalifa has converted the most penalty kicks in program history (fourth career).
FOR THE FOES
- Sekerak made six saves in the loss.
- Benhamu led the Leopards in shots with five total.
- Freshman midfielder James Morrison (New South Wales, Australia) ranked second on the team with four shots.
- Wentworth outshot Endicott 7-6 in the first half, but Endicott ended the contest with a 17-16 shot advantage.
Endicott (12-1-2, 7-0 CCC) travels to Newport, R.I. this Saturday, October 24 to take on Salve Regina University in a CCC matchup at 3 p.m. Wentworth (11-4-0, 4-3-0 CCC) hosts Curry College in a conference tilt this coming Saturday at 3 p.m.