Danbury, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College men's soccer fell to in-state rival Western Connecticut, 2-1, in overtime on Wednesday evening at The WAC in non-conference action. With the loss, the Falcons move to 6-3 on the year, while the host Colonials improve to 4-3-1 overall with the triumph.
With the score tied at one five minutes into the extra frame, Western Connecticut freshman Kenan Hodzic delivered the game-winner. Albertus Magnus took the first two shots in overtime, but failed to convert. Both were taken by junior midfielder Matt Mueller (Cheshire, Conn.). The first was turned aside by Colonial goalkeeper Austin Tierney and the other sailed wide of the net.
With five minutes played in OT, Western worked the ball down the field on the left side. Sophomore Shane Pugliese broke in toward the left post and managed to fire a shot past a Falcon defender, but his attempt caromed hard off the post. Fortunately for the Colonials, the ball rebounded directly Hodzic who had followed the play in the middle of the box. Without hesitation, Hodzic drilled the ball into the back of the goal to give Western a 2-1 overtime victory.
Albertus Magnus generated the first scoring opportunity of the game five minutes into action played when junior Alexis Garcia-Romero (West Haven, Conn.) worked the ball into the left side of the Western box, but his shot sailed just over the crossbar.
At the 23:15 mark, Western earned its first corner kick and sophomore Lucas Saunders delivered the ball across the face of the cage to senior Aislan Sartori. Sartori's header was solid, but lifted just inches above the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
At the half, Western held a 15-7 lead in shots, as well as a 5-4 edge in corner kicks, but the scoreboard still read 0-0.
The first chance in the second half for the Falcons came when sophomore Justyn Broderick (Orange, Conn.) worked the ball around the Western defense on the right side, but his cross-cage shot sailed wide left, just outside the reach of the diving Western keeper.
Albertus Magnus finally broke the scoreless tie at the 77:26 mark when Garcia-Ramero broke between two Western defenders at the top of the box and drilled a shot past the Western keeper to give the Falcons a 1-0 lead. Mueller set the play up nicely to earn his first assist of the fall and fifth point in the last two contests.
With under four minutes remaining Sartori was fouled inches outside the top of the Albertus Magnus box, even with the left goalpost. Sartori took the direct kick and curled his shot over the wall of Albertus Magnus defenders into the top right corner of the goal to even things at 1-1.
Neither team scored in the final minutes of regulation and the game headed to overtime.
In net, Falcon freshman goalkeeper Joe Russo (North Haven, Conn.) made a career-high 10 saves in a losing effort. On the opposite end, Tierney turned aside five shots to earn the victory.
Albertus returns to action this Saturday, Oct. 3, with a road Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) clash versus Saint Joseph's (Me.).