BROCKTON, Mass. ---- A game of two different halves saw the 14th-ranked Massasoit Warriors draw a 2-2 tie after two overtimes against No. 17 Mercer County in the season opener at Warrior Field.
Sidney Cardoso (Portugal) had a flair for the dramatic netting a goal at the end of each half as the Warriors are off until Tuesday with a road contest against the AIC JV team.
The first period saw Massasoit show complete control against Mercer (2-0-2), which was playing in its fourth match of the season. Massasoit rifled off eight shots in the opening period, five coming on net.
After several scoring chances in the opening stanza, with just 14.5 seconds left in the half Sidney Cardoso headed in the team's first goal of the year off a cross from Ienik Spencer (Pawtucket, R.I.).
Despite taking the 1-0 lead into the break, the visiting Vikings came out of the locker room with a sense of urgency.
In the 50th minute, Mercer's Jared Rogers intercepted a pass, turned and rifled a shot outside the 18-yard box for the equalizer.
"We knew coming out in our first game we were going to see some nerves and excitement," head coach Rui Estrela said. "It was nice that we took that lead (before the half), but then I think we sat back on that lead and thought the game was over. We were playing too safe at that point, with a whole half a head of us. We needed to come out and keep playing."
Less than 10 minutes later the Vikings would strike again. Massasoit committed a foul just outside the box, and Julian Lucumi Villegas spun a perfectly lofted free kick to the back of the net to take the lead.
Massasoit continued to fight and did not give up. With just two minutes left in the game, a penalty was called on Mercer in the box, allowing for a Warrior penalty kick. Cardoso calmly laced his PK past the Mercer keeper to knot up the score.
"We need to a better job of not getting into a hole late. I thought we had some chances to score a couple of goals in the first half to put the game away. But we didn't put those chances away," Estrela said.
After a scoreless overtime period, both teams each had chances for game winners. Off another free kick, Mercer knocked a ball into the box that was ricocheted off a player and looked to be the golden goal. However, Massasoit goalie Ollie Dagraca (Brockton), had other ideas and dove back with a full extension lunge kept the ball from crossing the goal line to keep the score tied.
"That save was huge for us. He bounced back after the deflection and was able to pounce on the ball and kept if from rolling it in. Overall, it was a good back and forth game with both teams having chances. It was a great first game for us to learn and see what playing at this level is like," Estrela said.
Massasoit's best chance came in the 106th minute, when Deivys D'Almeida (New Bedford) headed a corner kick cross just over the cross bar.
The Warriors finished with 23 shots, seven coming on net, while Mercer took 14 (seven on goal).
Keeper Ollie Dagraca made eight saves in his Massasoit debut.