*Written by Jonny Stevens
There was little to no separation between both teams in all categories Wednesday afternoon at Celentano Field in New Haven, Conn. as the Albertus Magnus men's soccer team (5-8-2, 2-4-2 GNAC) and Johnson & Wales (11-1-4, 4-1-3 GNAC) fought to a scoreless draw in double overtime.
The first chance of the game came in the 10th minute as freshman striker Alexis Garcia (West Haven, Conn.) collected the ball with his back towards goal, turned the defender but fired the shot well above the crossbar.
The Wildcats tested the Falcons' endurance in the first half as they moved the ball around the field. Midfielders Lindsley Barrett (Shelton, Conn.) and Austin Tomin (Hamden, Conn.) were up for the task as they stalked the Wildcat attack.
Johnson & Wales' possession looked to pay off in the 26th minute as a combination of passes put junior midfielder O'Kyle Corridon one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Corridon placed the ball far post and beat the keeper, but also beat the post.
The first half ended scoreless with Johnson & Wales just edging Albertus 5-3 in shots.
The second half was not as possessive as the first; the defenses really buckled down and played well. Riker Mitchell (Naugatuck, Conn.) was a notable mention for the Albertus Magnus Falcons as he stopped just about every one-on-one opportunity that came his way. Mitchell also threw his body in front of shots at every opportunity he could.
In the 70th minute, Mitchell could not get in front of one beautiful cross sent in from the outside midfield to the foot of forward Brandon Davidson who hit the ball one time. Senior goalkeeper Donato Piroscafo (Naugatuck, Conn.) flexed full stretch and made an amazing diving save to keep the sides even.
The Wildcats had another chance with just six minutes left to play in the game as junior midfielder Dustin Hughes cracked a shot from outside the 18-yard box that rang the crossbar. The ball fell to midfielder Kyle Metz who also took a chance but Piroscafo was strong in goal and parried the chance wide. This was one of Metz's seven shots in the entire game.
The second half proved to be just as close in opportunities as both sides had nine shots on goal and Albertus just one more corner kick than the Wildcats.
The two overtimes were a little less even as the Wildcats outshot the Falcons 9-1 in the two periods. Mitchell again was strong in defense, clearing the ball away from the defensive third at every chance he got. The Falcons' draw was a great result, fending off the mighty Wildcats.