NASHUA, N.H. – Sophomore DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.) headed home the game-winning goal in overtime to lift the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team over Rivier University in the Blue Jays' and Raiders' Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) opener Saturday afternoon at Joanne Merrill Field. With the victory, the Blue Jays improve to 3-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the GNAC, while the Raiders fall to 1-3-1 and 0-1-0.
Rivier broke the scoreless tie in the second half when freshman Kelvin Cortez (Meriden, Conn.) converted on a penalty kick at the 46:28 mark. It was Cortez' fourth goal in the last three games for the Raiders as the hosts jumped out to an early 1-0 advantage.
The lead would be short lived though, as the Blue Jays struck back in the 56th minute. Junior midfielder Gaetano LaBella (Wethersfield, Conn.) was able to find the upper 90 off a pass from sophomore Daniel Castro (Willimantic, Conn.) to tie the game at one apiece.
The two teams traded chances throughout the final 34 minutes of action, but neither team could convert, forcing extra time. Just over one minute into the first overtime period, USJ was awarded a corner kick and sophomore Hayden Burbank (Southington, Conn.) delivered a perfect chip to the back-post where classmate DeAnte Anderson was able to leap and head in the game-winner to spring the Blue Jays to victory.
Rivier senior goalkeeper Collin Deyarmin (Raymond, N.H.) made five saves on seven shots in the loss for the Raiders. Deyarmin slips to 1-3-1 with the setback. USJ freshman keeper John Griffin (Southington, Conn.) stopped three of the four shots he faced in his first complete game between the pipes for the Blue Jays. He improves to 2-0-0 with the win.
The Blue Jays held a sizable advantage in shots in the game, 16-7, including a 7-4 edge in shots on goal. USJ also won the corner kick battle, 6-2.
The USJ men's soccer team completes its four-game road swing with a midweek non-conference match at Becker College on Wednesday before returning home on Saturday for a GNAC match versus Lasell. Kick-off between USJ and Becker is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. on Alumni Field.