NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Gabriel Machado and Lucas Nishioka made their mark on opening day, lifting the No. 2 Monroe College men's soccer team to a 4-2 victory Saturday afternoon in the Mustangs' opening matchup of the CCBC Essex Tournament. The Mustangs start the season 1-0, while Harcum opens the new year with an 0-1 mark.
Harcum's Shane Holmes gave the Bears an early 1-0 edge in the 22nd minute. 15 minutes later, Machado knotted things up at 1-1 off an assist from Jorge Figueroa. Nishioka then got on the board in the 42nd minute to send the Mustangs into the locker room with a 2-1 halftime advantage.
Shortly after taking the field again, Abdul Mohammed found Machado, setting him up for his second of the day to put Monroe ahead, 3-1. Nishioka later found the back of the net once again after a feed from Carlos Rodriguez to take a three-goal lead. Harcum's Rico Jean-Pierre got one back for the Bears in the 66th minute, but goalkeeper David de la Hera kept them off the board the rest of the way to secure the win.
De la Hera earned his first win as a Mustang on Saturday, making a pair of saves to start his career at 1-0. Harcum keeper Andrej Vidali took the loss after making three stops and yielding four goals.
Machado and Nishioka led the way with two goals apiece for the Mustangs. Figueroa, Mohammed and Rodriguez each dished out an assist in the win. The Mustangs fired off 21 shots, while allowing just five attempts by the Bears. They also earned all four of the game's corner kicks.
The Mustangs get right back to work on Sunday, Aug. 27, when they take on Louisburg College in their final matchup of the CCBC Essex Tournament. Sunday's matchup is set to kick off at 12 p.m.