WESTON, Mass. – In a tightly contested overtime thriller, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) pulled out a 2-1 victory over Regis College (RC) Wednesday afternoon, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) men's soccer match at Regis Stadium.
After a scoreless first half, Regis opened the second by increasing its offensive pressure, creating several scoring opportunities. In the 57th minute, the Pride drew a corner kick, and senior midfielder Branden Tan (Bodrum, Turkey) sent a volley into the box. Sophomore defender Diego Roman (Guaynabo, Puerto Rico) rose up and directed a header from left to right. That's where junior forward Mitchell Boudreau (Swanton, Vt.) redirected the ball towards the net, but a USJ defender was able to sweep the ball out of the box, right before it crossed the goal line.
The Blue Jays (10-5, 6-3 GNAC) gained consistent possession midway through the half and put the pressure on the Pride defense. In the 66th minute, freshman forward Benjamin Marchetti (Higganum, Conn.) drew a foul inside the box to produce a penalty kick opportunity. Sophomore forward DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.) did what he does best, converting on that chance for his 14th goal of the season.
The Blue Jays continued to create scoring chances, taking three shots in the next five minutes. The Pride regained possession and challenged the USJ backline, as a shot by freshman forward Zack Acciardo (Derry, N.H.) was stopped by USJ goalie, freshman John Griffin (Southington, Conn.).
In the 75th minute, a shot by Tan was blocked by a Blue Jay defender, but he used his arm and hand and was called for the foul within the box. Junior midfielder Cesar Da Silva (Boca Raton, Fla.) was successful on his penalty kick attempt, tying the match at 1-1.
USJ had two good opportunities to score the go-ahead goal in regulation, but shots by freshman midfielder Mergim Kutllovci (Thomaston, Conn.) were turned away by Regis keeper, sophomore Ivan Ramirez (San Juan, Puerto Rico).
Regis held possession at the start of overtime, but then sophomore midfielder Hayden Burbank (Southington, Conn.) created a turnover and found a streaking Anderson down the field. Anderson blasted a shot into the lower right corner of the net for the golden goal, ending the match just 1:17 into the extra session.
Saint Joseph held a slight edge in shots, 19-16, including a 10-5 advantage in shots on goal. Ramirez finished with eight saves, tying his season-high. Griffin made two saves as he gained the victory after replacing senior goalie Joseph Boland (Rhinebeck, N.Y.), who made one save in the first half. Anderson now has back-to-back overtime game-winning goals, and has scored the last six goals for the Blue Jays dating back to October 9.
The Blue Jays travel to Boston to face Emmanuel Saturday afternoon, October 26, before closing the regular season at home next Wednesday, October 30, against intrastate rival Albertus Magnus.
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