New Haven, CT - The Albertus Magnus College Men's Soccer team cruised to a 4-0 victory in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Semifinals over visiting Norwich University on Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore forward Alphonse Buccitti (West Haven, CT/Notre Dame) scored two goals while sophomore midfielder Steven Zapata (Hamden, CT/Hamden) tallied three assists for the Falcons.
The first scoring opportunity of the game came in the 14th minute of play when Buccitti blasted a shot that Norwich freshman goal keeper Alex Toomey (Anchorage, Alaska/South Anchorage) made an incredible diving stop to keep the game scoreless.
Buccitti would find the back of the net in the 35th minute when he finished Zapata's free kick off his head to give Albertus the 1-0 lead at halftime.
The first half was back and forth with the Falcons outshooting Norwich 9-7 while holding just a 3-1 shots on goal advantage.
The second half was a different story as Albertus found the back of the net in the just the 52nd minute when Buccitti and Zapata teamed up again with a header finish from Buccitti on Zapata's well placed corner kick to stretch the lead to 2-0.
The Falcons continued their offensive attack when less than a minute later junior Jamal Howard (West Haven, CT/West Haven) finished a flick from freshman Gabriel Goja (Naugatuck, CT/Naugatuck) after another well placed Zapata corner kick to give Albertus the 3-0 lead.
Norwich had a golden opportunity to cut into the lead in the 73rd minute of play when senior defender Mike Lee (Syracuse, NY/Henninger) had a penalty kick due to an Albertus foul in the box. Freshman Falcon goal keeper Donato Piroscafo (Naugatuck, CT/Naugatuck) made the save of the day, smothering the penalty kick and preserving the 3-0 lead.
Albertus would take a 4-0 lead on the head of sophomore defender Nick Hamasian (Hamden, CT/Hamden) when he finished another well placed corner kick from Zapata in the 81st minute.
The Falcons (15-4-1, 6-2-1 GNAC) move on to host the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Championship on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 pm on Celentano Field against #4 Suffolk University (10-7-1, 5-3-1 GNAC). Albertus defeated Suffolk 3-1 on October 9 during the regular season.