New London, Conn. - Behind a pair of second-half goals from Alex Zapata (Hamden, Conn.), the Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team fought back to secure a 2-1 victory over Mitchell College on Wednesday afternoon in non-conference action at Alumni Field.
Albertus Magnus improved to 5-2 with its third straight one-goal win, while Mitchell 0-4-1 with its first home setback of the year. AMC has now won three in a row versus the Mariners, outscoring their in-state rival, 7-1, in those contests.
With the Falcons trailing 1-0 at halftime, Zapata scored twice in a 14-minute span to push his team into the lead. From there Albertus Magnus hung on for the final 20 minutes of regulation.
Mitchell's goal came from Andris Vital in the 18th minute, his first tally of the season. After cutting back off a defender to create space, he launched a shot from 25 yards out into the upper-left corner to give the Mariners the early advantage.
Zapata tied the game in the 57th minute thanks to the strong play of junior forward Justyn Broderick (Orange, Conn.), who won a free ball in the Mitchell box and shielded off a defender with his back to the goal. He then slipped a pass to Zapata for a quick strike from 10 yards out to knot the score at 1-1.
Zapata came through with the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winner in the 71st minute. He was awarded a penalty kick after being tackled inside the box, though his attempt was denied by Mitchell goalkeeper Seth Strader. Zapata quickly gathered the rebound for a second crack at the goal, and his chip went untouched into the back of the net for his team-leading third tally of the season in just his second appearance.
The Mariners had several chances at the equalizer in the final 19 minutes but couldn't post a goal. Mitchell's best opportunity came off a free kick by Christian Tomaj with less than two minutes to go. His attempt cleared a wall of AMC defenders but slammed off the bottom of the crossbar, leading to a free ball in front of the goal. Mariner midfielder Robert Pullan followed with a header that sailed high, and the Falcons held on for the final minute to post the victory.
Strader finished with four saves and Anthony Drake (Wethersfield, Conn./Wethersfield) added two for the Mariners. On the opposite end, sophomore Joe Russo (North Haven, Conn.) played all 90 minutes for Albertus Magnus and made five stops en route to his fifth win of the autumn.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Saturday, September 24, with a home Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) showdown with Mount Ida that is slated to get underway at 1:00 pm. In the last meeting between the two squads, the Falcons held on for a 3-2 road win in the GNAC Semifinals.