WASHINGTON, DC – The University of the District of Columbia men's soccer team had its seven game win streak snapped as the host Firebirds fell, 2-1 to East Coast Conference foe New York Institute of Technology on a warm, sunny Wednesday afternoon at UDC Field.
The Firebirds, who had not lost a game since September 6th, nor suffered a loss through four previous home games, dropped to 8-3 overall and 3-1 in league play. The Bears, who were picked to finish No. 2 in the ECC Preseason Poll, won their 2nd straight ECC game and improved to 2-2 in the league and 5-5-1 overall.
UDC had a quality scoring chance two-and-a-half minutes into the action when a beautifully played through ball led to a breakaway for senior forward Raphael Pacano. Unable to maintain his balance, however, Pacano did not strike the ball squarely with his foot and it trickled out of bounds well wide of the net.
Nearly 18 minutes later, NYIT's Martin Sundell dispossessed a UDC defender attempting to clear the ball out of the box near the sideline, and he sent a cross into the box that was headed in by John Camponeschi for the first score of the game. The Bears, who out-shot UDC, 7-3 in the first half, would take a 1-0 lead into intermission.
The Firebirds came out with a vengeance in the 2nd half, and it took them less than four minutes to get the equalizer. A long, well-placed throw-in deep in NYIT territory by senior defender Victor Salinas Furio was first headed straight up in the air by junior midfielder Michael Agboola, and then headed into the net by sophomore midfielder Gabriel Torres. The goal was Torres' 12th of the season, which leads the ECC and ranks No. 3 in NCAA Division II.
Though Torres' goal had just given the home team some momentum, it was quelled six minutes later when Carlos Coto's cannon of a shot from 30 yards out on the left side of the field soared past a diving Joao Brusamolin for what proved to be the gamewinner.
In the remaining 35 minutes, UDC only managed two more shots – neither of which was on goal, and NYIT held on for the one-goal victory.
Starting freshman goalkeeper Luis Aguirre made two saves and allowed one goal in the first half for UDC, and sophomore Joao Brusamolin (2-3) took the loss with two saves and one goal allowed in the second half. NYIT's Jonathan Rico (5-5-1) earned the win with one goal allowed on one shot faced.
Next up, UDC will visit ECC opponent University of Bridgeport on Saturday, October 7th at 3 p.m.