New York Tech WSOC Tops Mercy To Advance In ECC Playoffs

New York Tech
From left: Grace Guglielmo, Nikki Bermudez and Casey Luongo celebrate advancing to the ECC finals. Photo: NYIT

New York Tech’s women’s soccer team has waited for a quarter-century to play its first post-season match.

On Thursday, the Bears made the most of their first playoff appearance, defeating No. 2 Mercy 2-1 in an East Coast Conference semi-final match at Mercy Field in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. 

“It’s huge. It’s great for our program,” said Karim Diallo, New York Tech’s head coach. “These kids went through a lot this season. I’m very proud of them. I’m very proud of the effort.”

New York Tech will now face Long Island rivals Molloy College in the conference finals on Sunday. The winner will receive an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Sophomore Hannah Franco of Islip scored the game-winning goal in the 82nd minute off an assist from Casey Luongo of Center Moriches.

“We all wanted it so badly,” Franco said. “We all wanted to make history. That’s exactly what we did. Casey and I pushed.”

The Bears took the lead in the 40th minute when graduate student Kelly Gerdes of Wantagh converted a penalty kick in the 40th minute after Luongo drew a foul in the penalty area. 

Gerdes arrived at Tech this season with a final year of eligibility remaining after a standout career at Hofstra. Already holding bachelor’s and master’s degrees, she is pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy at Tech alongside her twin sister Katie.

Mercy’s Trista Seara scored in the 76th minute to tie the game at one.

New York Tech goalkeeper Nicole Genis — one of five freshmen in the starting lineup for Tech — made four saves to earn the win.

Tech improved to 7-6-3 while Mercy dropped to 13-3-2.