Westfield, Mass. – Junior midfielder Alex Zapata (Hamden, Conn.) continued his hot start for the Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team on Wednesday night, scoring the game-winning goal to lead the Falcons to a 2-1 victory versus Westfield State in non-conference action at Alumni Field. With their third straight one-goal win, the Falcons improve to 3-0 on the season, while the host Owls dropped to 0-4 with the setback.
With the score knotted at one in the 69th minute, Zapata broke past a defender and netted his team-leading fourth tally of the autumn. The 5-10 speedy midfielder has now scored a goal in three consecutive tilts and leads the Falcons with nine points (4g-1a).
Albertus Magnus wasted little time getting on the board as senior midfielder Jesse Plona (Trumbull, Conn.) opened the scoring with his first marker of the season just under two and a half minutes into play. Plona's tally was assisted by sophomore midfielder Justyn Broderick (Orange, Conn.). The helper was the first of Broderick's young and promising career. Following nice cross by Broderick, Plona pounded a shot directly at Marc Patnaude, who deflected the ball twice before it fell across the goal line.
The goal came after Zapata pressured the Westfield keeper with a blast just 20 seconds into play.
Throughout the remainder of the first half, both the Falcons and the Owls had opportunities, but failed to breakthrough.
A little over three minutes into the second half, Westfield state tied the match at one as Legend Mu'min tied the game at one for the Owls. Junior forward Joe Pantuosco beat an Albertus defender to a ball along the left sideline, spun and made a touch pass to senior Jack Fisher, who crossed the ball through to a streaking Mu'min for the equalizer.
In the 84th minute, Owls sophomore forward Connor Gilbert had a scoring chance in the box, but headed the ball over the crossbar.
Three minutes later, Westfield senior Zack Horn nearly tied the match on a long free kick, but Falcons goalkeeper Griffin Volta (Orange, Conn.) punched the ball over the crossbar.
Between the pipes, sophomore goalkeeper Volta made three saves to earn his third win of the fall. On the opposite end, Patnaude turned aside five shots in a losing effort for Westfield State.
Albertus Magnus held a slight, 13-12, advantage in shots and the host Owls took eight corners compared to just three for the visitors. The physical game saw 14 fouls called and three yellow cards given out.
The Falcons return to action this Saturday, September 12, with their GNAC opener versus Anna Maria at 3:15 p.m. at home on the turf at Celentano Field.