Branco tallies his second-career hat trick
WEST HAVEN, Conn. (October 22, 2016) – The Stonehill College men's soccer team surpassed the University of New Haven in Northeast-10 Conference play, 4-3, Saturday night on the Kayo Field.
Stonehill's (7-8-0, 5-6-0 NE-10) junior Adam Branco (Naugatuck, Conn./Naugatuck) recorded his second-career hat trick in the victory, as Patrick Doherty (Milford, N.J./Saint Joseph Regional) tallied his second-career game-winning goal. James O'Shea (Quincy, Mass./Quincy), Ryan Chieffo (North Haven, Conn./North Haven) and Patrick Keogh (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) assisted the goals in the Conference win.
New Haven (6-8-1, 3-7-1 NE-10) saw Pablo Perez register two goals and Mason Rivera with one.
As not even a minute of play past, Branco capitalized on a pass from O'Shea from the top left corner of the 18-yard box giving the Naugatuck, Conn. Native the opportunity to drive the ball to the lower right corner. The two teams battled back and forth, as the Chargers had an opportunity at the 19th minute mark. With a yellow card on goalkeeper Conor McDonough (Bridgewater, Mass./Coyle & Cassidy), New Haven's Rob Poirier took the penalty kick, but was denied by McDonough.
In the 29th minute, Stonehill again received a foul inside the box, setting up Pablo Perez for the second penalty kick of the game. Perez was able to knot the game at one. The Skyhawks were only to get off one corner kick in the remaining time in the first half.
Early in the second half, Keogh took the Skyhawks' second corner kick and Keegan Nutt (Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) and Branco were able to get off headers. Both shots were saved by the Chargers in the 52nd minute before Branco collected his own rebound heading it once again, but this time for Stonehill's second goal, 2-1. In the 65th minute of the game, Chieffo sent a through ball from about 25 yards out to Branco, as he was able to blast the ball from the top of the box for a two-goal advantage, 3-1.
The Chargers responded at the 66th minute by a goal from Rivera who headed the ball after a free kick from the left side of the box by Perez closing the gap to one, 3-2. New Haven tallied a foul in the 80th minute of the game giving Keogh the opportunity to send a free kick to Doherty, who headed the ball to the back to the net for a 4-2 advantage.
About six minutes later New Haven cut the gap to one with Perez's second goal of the game off a rebound by his first shot that was a penalty shot in the 87th minute. Stonehill was able to hold the Chargers for the remainder of the game giving the Skyhawks the win.
Stonehill concludes its regular season with two home games, the first is on Tuesday, October 25 beginning at 3 p.m. against Southern Connecticut State University.
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