Men's Soccer Suffers First Setback of Season, Falls to Babson in Overtime, 2-1

Men's Soccer Suffers First Setback of Season, Falls to Babson in Overtime, 2-1

Springfield, Mass. - October 15, 2016 - The Springfield College men's soccer team suffered an overtime loss to Babson College, 2-1, in New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) play on Saturday afternoon at Brock-Affleck Field.

The Pride, which came into Saturday's contest as the No. 24-ranked Division III men's soccer program according to D3soccer.com, dropped its first decision of the 2016 season, and is now 12-1-1 on the year with a 3-1-1 record in NEWMAC play. With the win, Babson, which was No. 10 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Regional Rankings, improves to 7-4-3 overall and 4-1 in league play.

In the second half, senior forward Luke Alvaro (Chicopee, Mass.) found the back of the net for the 16th time this season to tie his own Division III program record for goals in a season, as Alvaro posted 16 markers during his junior campaign in 2015.

Senior goalkeeper Zach Richard (Millbury, Mass.) made two stops over 97:59 of play, while his counterpart, James Takami (Kenmore, Wash.) made seven saves in the win. Springfield College out shot the Beavers, 17-13, while also holding a 6-1 margin in corner kicks on the afternoon.

Babson took a 1-0 lead with 17:33 remaining in the first half when Adam Villari (Lansdale, Pa.) got hauled down in the box, resulting in a foul on Springfield College and a penalty kick for the Beavers. Senior defender Kofi Abankroh (Worcester, Mass.) stepped up and drilled a shot to the right side, that was stopped by Richard, but the ball bounced into the back of the net to make it 1-0, Babson.

Springfield College had a chance to even the score at one just 2:27 later when a hand ball in the Babson box resulted in a penalty kick for the Pride, but Takami came up with a big stop to hold the maroon and white at bay.

The Pride evened the score at one apiece just 10:16 into the second half when Alvaro controlled the ball well outside of the box, dribble to the left side and let a long shot go that picked the right side of the net for his team-leading 16th tally of the season. 

Babson almost secured the win just four minutes into the first overtime period when Villari made a great run down the right side, before finding a wipe open Youcef Ziad (Holbrook, Mass.) in the middle fo the box, but the first-year missed the goal just high to keep the score even.

With just over two minutes remaining in the first overtime period a cross sent in from the wing flew to the back side of the cage, where it was headed by Vallari, which hit the post, but the ball came off the post right back to the senior, who one-touched it past Richard to lift the Beavers to victory.

Up next, Springfield College will return to Brock-Affleck Field on Monday, October 17 when it will host Suffolk University in non-conference play at 4 p.m.