DANBURY, CT – Junior midfielder Afa Reyes (Bridgeport, CT) took a pass from rookie midfielder Kent Eannarino (Brookfield, CT) and blasted home the lone goal of the contest in the 64th minute of play to lead the Western Connecticut State University men's soccer team to a 1-0 shutout victory over visiting non-conference opponent Emmanuel College on Thursday night. With the win, the Colonials improved to 5-1 overall, while the Saints dropped to 2-2.
"I'm happy we got the win but we need to convert on our scoring chances," said WestConn head coach Joe Mingachos following the contest. "We had multiple shots miss the goal in the first half and it nearly allowed them to extend the game," he concluded.
WestConn outshot Emmanuel, 21-5, while also holding a commanding edge in corner kicks, 10-3. Junior goalkeeper Daniel Szabo (Trumbull, CT) improved to 5-1 overall and stopped two shots for the Colonials, while sophomore netminder Vincent Conelli (West Hartford, CT) fell to 0-1 and recorded nine saves for the Saints.
The visitors had a couple quality rush attempts up the field in the early going but both opportunities were stymied by junior defender Paul Costa (Bridgeport, CT).
The hosts controlled the majority of play. Their first quality scoring chance came when junior Matthew Restrepo (Bridgeport, CT) ripped a liner headed for the top corner. However, Conelli made a stellar diving attempt to keep the ball out of the twine.
Reyes would put the hosts on top for good when he fired a shot from just outside the box that deflected off a defender into the top corner. The intensity picked up near the end of regulation as each squad received yellow cards but the Colonials defense was solid as they held on for the win.
WestConn returns to action against visiting non-league foe Westfield State on Tuesday at 6 p.m.