Sophomore Adam Branco's two goals helped Stonehill secure its first-ever victory at Franklin Pierce tonight.
Sophomore Adam Branco scores two goals as Skyhawks pick up first-ever victory in Rindge
RINDGE, N.H. (September 19, 2015) – Sophomore forward Adam Branco (Naugatuck, Connecticut/Naugatuck) registered the first multi-goal game of his collegiate career as Stonehill College earned a 2-1 victory at Franklin Pierce University this evening in Northeast-10 Conference action at Sodexo Field.
Stonehill has now won two straight against Franklin Pierce, including its first-ever victory in Rindge, after the Ravens held a 16-0 all-time advantage in the series following the 2013 meeting. The Skyhawks posted their first victory over Franklin Pierce last fall, rallying from a two-goal first half deficit in an eventual 3-2 triumph in Easton.
With the score tied 1-1 in the 63rd minute tonight, senior forward Drew Montano (Avon, Connecticut/Avon) lined up a corner kick from the left side after his scoring chance was stopped by Franklin Pierce sophomore goalkeeper Jordan LeGuyader (Jersey, United Kingdom/Highlands College). Branco's header attempt deflected off LeGuyader and into the left side of the net for his second goal of the night and third of the season, which would prove to be the game-winner.
Stonehill opened the scoring in the 19th minute, when junior back Alexander Sarkis (Walpole, Massachusetts/Walpole) sent a long throw from the left side into the box, and Branco was there to head the ball inside the left post.
The Skyhawks nearly doubled their lead in the 25th minute, as senior midfielder R.J. Aprile (Carmel, New York/Kennedy Catholic) beat a Franklin Pierce defender and sent a shot towards the goal from 15 yards out, but LeGuyader made a diving stop to thwart the attempt.
Franklin Pierce was then able to equalize four and a half minutes later, when a failed Stonehill clearance was collected by senior midfielder George Levantakis (Lynnfield, Massachusetts/Lynnfield). Levantakis found senior forward Marius Preber (Jessheim, Norway/Eidsvold Videregaende Skole), who finished inside the left post from eight yards out.
The Ravens were unable to capitalize on their best chance to equalize late in the second half, as graduate midfielder David Magee's (Lurgan, Ireland) low penalty kick attempt was wide right of the post in the 77th minute.
Stonehill senior goalkeeper Luke Besse (Hamilton, Massachusetts/Hamilton-Wenham Regional) made all three of his saves in the second half, while LeGuyader turned aside eight shots on the other end.
Stonehill (4-2, 1-1 NE-10) is back in action on Wednesday afternoon, as the Skyhawks are set to host Southern New Hampshire University, ranked No. 3 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Division II Poll, at 4 p.m. Franklin Pierce (3-2, 1-1 NE-10) is also in action on Wednesday at American International College.