Men’s Soccer Season Concludes in Overtime Heartbreaker

Andy Beardsley

WALTHAM, Mass. – The University of New Haven men’s soccer team fell 1-0 in overtime Tuesday afternoon to Bentley University in the opening round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship tournament. With the loss, the sixth ranked Chargers’ season comes to an end with a record of 7-10-1, while the Falcons advance to the NE-10 semifinals with a record of 11-2-5.

The Falcons game-winner came in the 96th minute as they used a corner kick to create the goal which found the back of the Chargers’ net.

After nearly 10-minutes of midfield play, Steven Gennuso recorded the game’s first shot in the 10th minute. Bentley answered just minutes later with a shot inside the Chargers own 8-yard box. Starting keeper J.J. Comeau recorded the save and kept the game tied at 0-0.

Over the next 15 minutes, the teams exchanged offensive possession as both teams managed scoring opportunities. In the 29th minute the Falcons had one of their best chances of the first half with a breakaway set up in the UNH defensive end, but an offside called gave UNH the ball. Comeau made another save in the 33rd minute as the Falcons once again mounted numerous opportunities on net over the ensuing two minutes. The Chargers mounted their own rally in the closing minutes of the first half, but the scored stayed 0-0 at the break.

The Chargers came out fired up in the opening minutes of the second half as they recorded two shots which narrowly missed the net in the first ten minutes. The Chargers recorded a breakaway in the 64th minute. In the 71st minute the Falcons nearly took the advantage with a shot inside the box which narrowly sailed over the crossbar. Second later, Bentley recorded its second shot which sailed over the crossbar inside the box.

Gui Dos Santos found open space inside the Falcons 18-yard box in the 83rd minute. He received a pass from Gennuso and fired a shot on net which was saved and then bounced off the crossbar.

Bentley rallied in the next 10 minutes, holding possession in the Chargers half for a majority of the time. New Haven. In the final five minutes of the second half, UNH recorded a pair of free kicks near the Bentley 18-yard box. In the final 20-seconds, Nick Dionne riffled a pass off a free kick from just outside the Falcons 18-yard box. The pass sailed wide left and the time ran out of the second half of play with the score tied 0-0.

Bentley was the first to earn an opportunity in the overtime period as they held possession in the Chargers’ box for a number of touches in the 94th minute. One minute later, with 4:45 left in the overtime, the Falcons netted the game-winner off a corner kick and header which sailed over the out-stretched hands of Comeau.

Senior Matt Sarrazin led the team with two shots in the loss. Nick Pezzente and Gui Dos Santos recorded the only other shots-on-goal for the Chargers. Comeau recorded six saves in the tough loss, while New Haven trailed 4-2 in corner kick opportunities.

This season the Chargers made their first postseason appearance since 2006 and their first NE-10 tournament appearance. The team also finished with the most wins since 2003.