Sacred Heart spoils men’s soccer’s win streakSeptember 23, 2012
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – A late free kick by Sacred Heart’s Marcello Castro broke open a scoreless match in the 83rd minute and put a halt to the University of Hartford men’s soccer team’s four-game win streak at Alumni Stadium on Saturday night. With the 1-0 setback, the Hawks wrap up their non-conference schedule, a 10-game slate, above the .500 mark with a 6-4-0 record. Sacred Heart improves to 4-3-0 in 2012.
Hartford has a full week to prepare for the start of America East conference play, which begins at Boston University on Sat., Sept. 29. The Hawks and Terriers will kick-off their league openers at 7:00 p.m. under the lights of Nickerson Field.
Castro provided the only offense of the match after drawing a foul approximately 10 yards out from the Hawks’ penalty box. On the reset, which took place on the far side, he buried the game-deciding goal by looping his shot over Hartford’s wall and placing the ball into the upper left corner of the net, out of reach of a diving Hartford keeper in Viltsu Tuumi.
The loss marks the first time that Hartford has been kept scoreless by an opponent this season, and the first time in 19 games. The Hawks were last shut out in a match on Oct. 1, 2011 in a home game against Boston University. It is also the Hawks’ first blemish at Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium this season as they entered the match with a perfect 3-0 mark with wins over CCSU, UMass and Quinnipiac.
The first half featured an evenly played match between the Hawks and Pioneers, with not much offense being generated by either squad. Sacred Heart produced three shots during that stanza, one of which was a near miss in the 29th minute that defected out of bounds after hitting the far post, while Hartford saw a pair of attempts by junior Anthony Santaga and sophomore Mathias Axelsson.
Hartford, which finished with a 6-5 edge in shots and 4-0 advantage in corner kicks, picked up the attack in the final stanza with four shots during that stanza. Rookie Simon Turreson saw the Hawks’ first scoring chance in that final period on a reset following a Sacred Heart foul in the 50th minute. A defender, Turreson, who was set up less than a yard outside of the penalty box, booted a high shot that nearly missed its mark by passing over the crossbar.
Santaga also saw a pair of opportunities to put the first notch of the game on the scoreboard with less than 20 minutes remaining in regulation. In the 76th minute, Sacred Heart keeper Daniel Nicinski swatted away his header for his lone save of the night. Just over one minute later, Santaga got his head on another ball, but sent his shot just wide of the net.
Tuumi finished the match with one save, which came in the opening minutes of the match on a shot by Simon Harrsen.