DANBURY, CT – The Western Connecticut State University men's soccer team edged visiting Keene State College, 3-2, in a Little East Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon at the Westside Athletic Complex. Junior midfielder Afa Reyes (Bridgeport, CT) netted a pair of goals to lead the Colonials, including the game-winner. With the win, WestConn improved to 9-3 overall and 2-1 in league play, while the Owls dropped to 8-3 and 2-1.
"This was an intense conference game as both teams put forth tremendous effort," said WestConn head coach Joe Mingachos following the contest. "We maintained our focus and composure in the second half and this was a key victory for us," he concluded.
The visitors jumped out to a 1-0 lead when sophomore Henry Cummings (Grafton, MA) took a pretty pass from junior Emmanuel Smith (Concord, NH) and converted the quality scoring opportunity. Keene State would hold the one-goal lead at halftime.
The hosts evened the count at 1-1 less than a minute in the second stanza. Rookie Kent Eannarino (Brookfield, CT) broke in from a sharp angle and the Keene goalie came out to smother the ball. However, it caromed loose and first-year forward Franz Muhaj (Bridgeport, CT) found Reyes who hammered the ball into the open net.
WestConn took the lead when junior Mikey Sciortino (Shelton, CT) fired a penalty shot into the top-left corner after being pulled down in the box, good for a 2-1 advantage.
However, the Owls struck back when junior James McCully (Eastham, MA) deflected a shot from sophomore Vance Bates (Chatham, MA) just inside the right post in the 73rd minute, deadlocking the score at 2-2.
Shortly thereafter, Reyes blast home the game-winner after the Owls misplayed the ball inside their own box, sealing the 3-2 victory for the Colonials. It marked his seventh goal of the season, tying him with Muhaj and junior Matthew Restrepo (Bridgeport, CT) for the team lead. The visitors added pressure down to the final seconds but were unable to get a shot off as time expired.
Junior goalkeeper Daniel Szabo (Trumbull, CT) improved to 9-3 and stopped four shots for the Colonials, while sophomore netminder Anthony Pasciuto (Abington, MA) fell to 5-3 and recorded six saves for the Owls.
WestConn returns to action next Saturday when they travel to Castleton at 6:30 p.m.