New Haven, Conn. – With just over 90 seconds remaining in the second overtime period, junior midfielder Alex Zapata (Hamden, Conn.) scored the game-winning goal to lead the Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team past visiting Lasell, 1-0, on Monday afternoon at Celentano in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action. With the win, the Falcons improve to 8-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play, while the setback drops the Lasers to 2-9 on the year and 2-4 in league tilts.
On a rush late in the second overtime frame, Albertus Magnus senior midfielder Jesse Plona (Trumbull, Conn.) fired a shot from just outside the box that was blocked by a leaping Laser defender and bounced out of bounds. Zapata stepped up to take the corner, launching a curving shot that bounced just inside the far post and beat a diving effort from Lasell senior goalkeeper Miguel Colmenares. Incredibly, the ball came through traffic in the box and was not touched by a single player. The marker was the team-leading seventh of the autumn for Zapata and his third in conference play.
In the minute before Zapata's strike, the visitors threatened with a shot from senior forward Tyler Davis that was just wide of the net. Davis collected a through ball to right of AMC freshman goalkeeper Joe Russo (North Haven, Conn.) and his far-side attempt was Lasell's final scoring chance of the game, as the Falcons converted on the ensuing possession.
In the first overtime stanza, Lasell controlled the possession and had three scoring chances from just outside the box. On all three occasions, the shots from the Lasers missed the target and caused goalkicks.
Both teams traded scoring chances in the opening half, but neither was able to break through. The best look for the guests came in 11th minute, as senior forward Nick Liquori fired a shot wide from 20-yards out. After a relatively quiet opening 45 minutes, the two conference foes entered halftime in scoreless tie.
The best scoring opportunities came in the second half for both teams. Less than a minute in, Lasell senior midfielder Nick Rudovic headed a ball at the far post that stopped by Russo. On the ensuing possession, Albertus Magnus junior forward Alexis Garcia-Romero (West Haven, Conn.) fired a shot that turned aisde by a diving Colmenares. In the 76th minute, the Falcons drew a foul just outside the box and sophomore midfielder Ben Colter's free kick was saved once again by Colmenares. In the 86th minute, Liquori sent a cross into the AMC box and sophomore midfielder Edward Paulino's header clanked off the outside of the far post to keep the game tied at zero.
Between the pipes, Russo made five saves to record his third career shutout for the Falcons. On the opposite end, Colmenares turned aside six shots in a losing effort for Lasell.
Albertus Magnus held a slight, 24-23, advantage in shots and the Falcons took eight corners compared to just four for the Lasers.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Saturday, October 17, with a road conference clash against Norwich.