O'Brien tallies first goal of the season to knot the game
Branco tallied his fourth goal of the season
EASTON, Mass. (September 24, 2016) – The Stonehill men's soccer team fought back to tie the match, but it was not enough as Concordia (N.Y.) College scored a goal in the 87th minute to win the game, 3-2, Saturday afternoon at Skyhawk Field.
Stonehill (3-4) junior Adam Branco (Naugatuck, Conn./Naugatuck) tallied his 16th goal of his career and fourth of the season, while classmate Connor O'Brien (Naugatuck, Conn./Naugatuck) recorded his seventh score of his career and first of the season. Matthew Gallo (Mendham, N.J./West Morris Mendham) assisted Branco's goal early in the first half.
Concordia (4-3) had three goal scorers and three separate helpers in the victory including Romando Bigsby, James Walters, and Freddy Nava. Cristian Perez, Javier Alvarez Vispo, and Ovan Oakley set up the goals for the Clippers.
The Skyhawks found an early opportunity when Gallo launched the ball from the right side of the field to Branco who was able to find the right corner of the net putting Stonehill up in the third minute of the game, 1-0. Both teams were only able to get two more shots off before the Clippers acted on a free kick in the 31st minute. Perez took the free kick that would find Bigsby in front of the net to easily place the ball to the left back post to knot the game at one.
Concordia had the slight advantage in the second half as it got off 12 shots to the Stonehill's 11. With almost 30 minutes of scoreless action, the Clippers acted on another free kick in the 75th minute of the match, in which Alvarez Vispo sent the ball to Walters who was in front of the net for the tip in and the 2-1 advantage.
Stonehill would not let down as three minutes later, Connor O'Brien beat the defenders to the loose ball dribbling and finding the net open for his first tally of the season in the 78th minute of the game. With a race to the finish on the line, both teams had a handful of shot opportunities, but the Clippers were able to find the back of the net first. Oakley found Nava on the left side of the field who lifted the ball past goalkeeper Brendan Hughes in the 87th minute for the game-winning goal, 3-2.
Making his first collegiate start, freshman Brendan Hughes (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) gave up three goals and recorded six saves with a .667 save percentage, while the Clippers' Jaime Gonzalez gave up two goals and tallied four saves with a .667 save percentage.
Stonehill is back in action on Tuesday, September 27 when it travels to Worcester, Massachusetts to take on a Northeast-10 foe, Assumption College for a 7 p.m. contest.
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