Freshman Connor O'Brien's third goal of the season proved to be the game-winner in Stonehill's 1-0 victory over Saint Anselm tonight.
Freshman midfielder Connor O'Brien nets game-winner in 78th minute
EASTON, Mass. (September 16, 2014) – Freshman midfielder Connor O'Brien (Guilderland, New York/Guilderland) scored the go-ahead goal in the 78th minute to lift the Stonehill College men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over visiting Saint Anselm College tonight in the Northeast-10 Conference opener for both teams at Skyhawk Field.
For the third time in the last three games, the Skyhawks failed to score a goal in the opening 45 minutes before getting on the board in the second half. With just over 12 minutes remaining in the contest, freshman midfielder Andrew Humphrey (Mansfield, Massachusetts/Bishop Feehan) sent a low cross into the 18-yard box towards O'Brien. O'Brien collected the ball, and fired it off a Saint Anselm defender and into the net for his team-leading third goal in five games this season.
Stonehill had an opportunity to take a two-score lead in the 80th minute, as the Skyhawks were awarded a penalty kick after a Saint Anselm defender was whistled for body-checking a player in front of the net. Junior forward Drew Montano (Avon, Connecticut/Avon) attempted to place the ball in the lower left corner of the net, but Hawks senior goalkeeper Bret Macko (Bolton, Massachusetts/Nashoba Valley) made a diving stop to his right to keep the score at 1-0. Despite taking the loss for the second time in two starts this season, Macko was impressive in net, making 13 saves to keep Saint Anselm in the game.
Stonehill junior goalkeeper Luke Besse (Hamilton, Massachusetts/Hamilton-Wenham Regional) continued his strong play of late, making a pair of saves en route to his third shutout in five starts this season. After his performance tonight, Besse ranks fourth in the NE-10 with a 0.59 goals against average and fifth with an .842 save percentage.
Although the Skyhawks were only able to find the back of the net once, they kept the pressure on Saint Anselm's defense throughout the contest. Stonehill outshot the Hawks 25-5 in the game, while also taking 12 corner kicks to Saint Anselm's zero.
The Skyhawks will be back in action on Saturday with a 3 p.m. contest at Adelphi University in Garden City, New York. Stonehill (3-1-1, 1-0 NE-10) returns to Skyhawk Field to host rival Bentley University next Wednesday, September 24th at 4 p.m. Saint Anselm (1-2, 0-1 NE-10) will head home for its next two matches, beginning with Le Moyne College on Saturday at 1 p.m.