New Haven, Conn. – Freshman goalkeeper Joe Russo (North Haven, Conn.) stopped all three shots he faced en route to his second career shutout as the Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team blanked visiting Coast Guard, 2-0, on Tuesday afternoon in non-conference action at Celentano Field. With their third straight home win, the Falcons improve to 7-4 overall, while the Bears move to 3-9 with their second road setback in a row.
Sophomore midfielder Ben Colter (Guilford, Conn.) netted the eventual game-winner for Albertus Magnus early in the first half. On a free kick from near midfield, the 5-11 righty blasted a ball that bounced just inside the six and found the back of the net just over 13 minutes into play. The strike was the first of the season for Colter and it beat a diving effort from Coast Guard sophomore goalkeeper Jake Sorenson.
Later in the first half, the Falcons stretched their lead to two courtesy of a marker from junior forward Alexis Garcia-Romero (West Haven, Conn.). Classmate Alex Zapata (Hamden, Conn.) started the play with a through ball that sent Garcia-Romero in uncontested and he ripped a shot past Bears backup goalkeeper William Bragaw who was caught in between staying on his line and charging at the ball. Garcia-Romero's insurance tally was his fourth of the season and Zapata registered his second assist of the autumn.
Over the remainder of the first half, neither team was able to break through and the hosts entered halftime with a two-goal advantage.
Coast Guard threatened to cut the score in half early in the second half. In the 47th minute, sophomore midfielder Ryan Dandan got his head on a cross off a free kick and Russo turned it aside with a diving effort.
Later in the second frame, Zapata had a pair of scoring chances. In the 53rd minute, he fired a free kick from 15 yards outside the box that was just wide of the goal and in the 65th minute he took a shot from just inside the box that Bragaw punched over the net.
In net, Bragaw made five saves in relief of Sorenson.
The Falcons held a 20-10 advantage in shots and took five corners compared to just one for the visitors. The two in-state rivals battled hard all afternoon, with four cards being handed out and 28 fouls whistled.
Russo has recorded three saves in both of his blank sheets this fall.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Saturday, October 10 with a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) clash at Mount Ida.