HERKIMER, NY: The No. 1 nationally-ranked, and overall No. 1 seed in the National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) National Tournament, GCC men's soccer team could not get past its first round opponent on Thursday afternoon, falling to eighth-seeded Bunker Hill Community College (MA) in the quarterfinals, 2-1.
It was a back-and-forth start as both teams traded empty possessions to begin the first half. Bunker Hill nearly took the lead in the 4th minute when a shot hit the GCC post, but the Cougars cleared to keep the game scoreless.
Genesee took advantage and in the 26th minute, leading-scorer Ricard Fernandez-Sarro put the Cougars in front 1-0 with his 36th goal of the season.
GCC held a one-goal lead until late in the half when the Bulldogs scored on a breakaway in the 40th minute to tie the game at one apiece.
The Cougars dominated time of possession for the majority of the second half and had multiple scoring chances but could not cash in.
Connor Halsted made a diving stop in the 75th minute on a BHCC header attempt on net to keep the score tied. Halstead made eight saves in the match.
Genesee's best chance in the second half came in the 81st minute when Austin Richardson was awarded a penalty kick. The sophomore could not convert as his shot sailed just wide.
Bunker Hill then ended nearly 50-minutes of scoreless play with what would prove to be the game-winning goal in the 85th minute.
Genesee ran out of time and with the loss, ends its hopes of a national title. The Cougars finish the season 19-1 and will play in the consolation round on Friday at 11 A.M. against Herkimer College, which lost to Camden County College in penalty kicks on Thursday in the quarterfinals.