New Haven, Conn. – Freshman midfielder and reigning Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Rookie of the Week Brayan Lucero (East Haven, Conn.) scored two goals and added an assist to lead the Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team past visiting Westfield State, 3-2, on Thursday evening in non-conference action at Celentano Field.
The Falcons (2-1) have now won back-to-back home games, while scoring three goals in each contest. The Owls (2-1) see their two-game winning streak come to an end with their second straight setback versus Albertus Magnus.
With the score knotted at one late in the first half, junior forward Justyn Broderick (Orange, Conn.) sent Lucero into the box with a through ball and the freshman chipped the ball over a diving Owl goalkeeper. Lucero knifed between a pair of Westfield State defenders to break free for his first collegiate goal.
In the 61st minute, Albertus Magnus stretched its lead to two thanks to another Lucero marker. Junior forward Ritchy Jean Pierre (Fairfield, Conn.) sent a cross into the penalty area and Lucero finished into an open net.
Down the stretch, Westfield State cut the deficit in half and made it a one-goal game as Connor Gilbert headed one past Albertus Magnus sophomore goalkeeper Joe Russo (North Haven, Conn.). Senior midfielder Joey Pantuosco set the play up with a cross to the near post in the 84th minute.
The Falcons opened the scoring in the 17th minute as senior midfielder Matt Mueller (Cheshire, Conn.) potted his second tally of the fall. Lucero delivered a free kick into the penalty area and Mueller headed the ball past Owl goalkeeper Alex Karver.
A little over one minute later, the guests evened the score thanks to Joey Pantuosco scoring on a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box.
In net, Russo turned aside one shot to pick up his second victory of the year. On the opposite end, Karver made four saves in a losing effort.
Albertus Magnus outshot Westfield State, 13-8, and the Falcons took five corners compared to just two for the Owls.
Albertus Magnus returns to action and opens conference play on Saturday, September 10, with a home clash with Suffolk that is slated to get underway at 1:00 pm. Last autumn, the Falcons topped the Rams, 4-0, in Boston with different players finding the back of the net.