New Haven, Conn. – The Albertus Magnus College men's soccer team fell to visiting Norwich University, 1-0, on Saturday afternoon in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) action at Celentano Field.
The Falcons (9-6-1, 4-4-1 GNAC) dropped their second straight home conference clash, while the Cadets (9-4-3, 6-0-3) won their second straight road league tilt.
Both of the teams qualified for the GNAC Tournament. Albertus Magnus is the No. 5 seed and will hit the road to face No. 4 seed Suffolk in the opening round next weekend. Norwich secured a home game and the No. 2 seed with the victory and the Cadets will host the seventh-seeded next Saturday.
Norwich opened the scoring just under 10 minutes into the game off a scramble in the box. Off a corner taken by Cadet senior Moab Schiers, the Falcons failed to clear it and the ball ended up on the foot of senior defender Noah Clemmer. Clemmer then fired a hard groundball that beat Albertus Magnus sophomore goalkeeper Joe Russo (North Haven, Conn.) inside the right post. Clemmer's first of the season gave the guests an early advantage in wet and windy conditions.
The visitors threatened to stretch their lead to two six minutes later, as Schiers used fancy footwork outside the box to create space and find a cutting Jacob Zimmerman alone in the penalty area. Russo left his line to make a play and Zimmerman chipped the ball over the keeper and off the left post. Albertus Magnus senior defender Ben Colter (Guilford, Conn.) corralled the rebound and cleared it away to keep it a one-goal game.
The Falcons nearly knotted the tilt at one in the 36th minute as junior forward Justyn Broderick (Orange, Conn.) took a feed from freshman midfielder John Ianucci-Berger (Oakville, Conn.) inside the box and fired a shot just wide of the goal. The low, hard-struck grounder was the best scoring chance in the opening half for the hosts.
In the second half, Russo kept Albertus Magnus in the game with a pair of saves during a flurry by the Cadets early in the stanza. Both of Russo's saves during the stretch came on chip shots which he leaped and punched away with his right hand.
In their final regular season home game as Falcons, seniors Alex Zapata (Hamden, Conn.) and Alexis Garcia-Romero (West Haven, Conn.) each created scoring bids late in the game. Zapata took a shot from 25-yards out that was turned aside by Cadet senior netminder Billy Whaley and Garcia-Romero blasted a shot from 30-yards out that sailed just over the crossbar.
In net, Russo turned aside four shots in a losing effort for the hosts. On the opposite end, Whaley made one save to record the shutout and pick up his seventh win of the fall.
Prior to the contest, Albertus Magnus honored the six members of the senior class for their contributions to the program over the last four seasons.
Albertus Magnus returns to action on Tuesday, October 25, with a road non-conference contest against MCLA to close out the regular season. The Falcons are looking to avenge a 2-0 setback to the Trailblazers in 2015.