BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Junior midfielder Ali Tounkara scored two first-half goals to help lead host and top-seeded St. Francis Brooklyn College to a 3-0 victory over fourth-seeded Robert Morris College in the semifinals of the Northeast Conference tournament at chilly Brooklyn Bridge Park Friday afternoon.
The Terriers will take on second-seeded LIU Brooklyn in the championship match at 1 p.m. Sunday.
St. Francis Brooklyn (13-4-1), which will appear in its fifth consecutive NEC Championship game, controlled most of the play and outshot the Colonials, 16-5.
Tounkara scored the only goal the hosts would need 81 seconds into the match, scoring from point-blank range. After a Terrier corner kick, junior midfielder Anthony Gimenes crossed the ball to Tounkara, who was free along the far post. Senior goalkeeper Winter Fondi had no chance to make a play as Tounkara found the upper left corner of the net.
Tounkara, a member of the NEC All-Rookie team, boosts St. Francis into a 2-0 lead in the 30th minute as he beat Fondi again with a blast to the upper-left corner for his sixth goal of the season. Fellow All-Rookie team member selection, junior midfielder Sami Gliguem, was credited with the assist after finding an unmarked Tounkara just outside the center of the box.
Senior forward Nadim Saqui provided the Terriers with some extra insurance with just over a minute left in the match as he collected a cross from classmate Federico Curbelo, a second team All-Conference midfielder. After Fondi left his position in goal, Saqui took a dribble and tapped an uncontested shot into the back of the net. Curbelo has a team-best six assists.
Robert Morris (4-11-3) had its best scoring opportunity with 36:40 remaining in regulation as senior midfielder Keane Mcivor hit the post after a breakaway.
St. Francis first team All-Conference keeper Roberto Bazzichetto (San Vendemiano, Italy) made three saves and improved to 12-3-1. Fondi made five saves.
The Terriers, who defeated LIU Brooklyn in extratime, 2-1, last week in their only meeting of the season, have won three of the last four NEC championships.