MASON- After scrambling to find a location for Tuesday’s opening round match for the CAAC Gold Cup, the #3 Trojans traveled to the #6 Mason Bulldogs and advanced with a 4-1 win.
Due to an unplayable surface at Archer Stadium, the Trojans became the guests at Mason. They felt right at home though, as they scored the first goal of the game in thirty-five seconds. Mohamed Babale played a ball across to Cade Moreno to give East Lansing a 1-0 lead. One minute later Babale did it himself after Drew Lietz sent a phenomenal ball and earned an assist and gave the Trojans a 2-0.
Both teams settled down and played rather evenly as they headed to halftime. The Bulldogs came out in the second half working hard to cut into the lead. After a Trojan handball in the box, Nekko Criswell-Grinage came up big on a safe keeping the Bulldogs off the scoreboard. Mason eventually cut into the lead with 15 minutes to play on a rebound off a set piece, but the Trojans again found goals quickly. Babale added two more goals in a three minute span on assists from Robert Nystrom and Lietz.
This was Criswell-Grinage’s best game of the season with 8 saves on the night. Sam Morse and Paul Carney kept the back line in check with help from Aiden Rudy and Will Knapp.
East Lansing advances to the semi-finals of the Gold Cup hoping to avenge their only loss of the season to the Okemos Chiefs. Game will take place on Thursday at Okemos at 6:30PM.
East Lansing is 12-1-2 on the season