WASHINGTON, DC – After a scoreless first half, the University of the District of Columbia men's soccer team scored two second half goals en-route to a 2-0 victory over visiting Seton Hill on a hot, humid, Tuesday afternoon at UDC Field.
The Firebirds, who have won nine of their last 10 games and have five regular season games remaining, improved to 10-3 overall with this victory, which is already the most wins in a season by a UDC team since 2002. Seton Hill, a member of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and the Atlantic Region, fell to 6-6-1 overall with the loss.
UDC out-shot SHU, 7-5 and put five shots on goal in the first half, but Griffins goalkeeper Jacin Smith stopped all five shots he faced to blank the Firebirds through 45 minutes.
Just five-and-a-half minutes into the second half, however, UDC struck for the game's first goal courtesy of a Gabriel Torres penalty kick. Torres' touch pass to senior forward Raphael Pacano at the top of the box in the middle of the field led to a Seton Hill defender fouling Pacano, thus awarding the Firebirds a penalty kick. Torres, the nation's 3rd leading scorer entering the game, beat Smith to the left side of the net for the gamewinner and his 14th goal of the season. The sophomore midfielder is now 5-for-6 on penalty kicks this season and 6-for-8 over his career.
With a 1-0 lead, UDC's defensive unit stiffened, holding the Griffins to just four shots for the remainder of the game – only one of which was on goal. Seton Hill's most active offensive player was forward Joffe Bradley, who took three shots (one SOG), but the Firebirds' back line, particularly Michael Agboola, was successful in thwarting any breakaway chances and bottling up the Griffins' offense.
UDC added an insurance goal in the 74th minute when junior defender Marcus Mottley dispossessed a SHU defender and fired a shot from about 30 yards out on the right side of the field. Smith seemed to have stopped the ball initially, but could not corral it as it trickled slowly into the net for Mottley's 2nd goal of the season.
Starting UDC goalkeeper, sophomore Joao Brusamolin improved to 4-3 on the season as he split the shutout victory with senior backup Ever Guevera Alvarez. Brusamolin played the first half, and Alvarez played the second half, with each making one save to preserve the Firebirds' 5th shutout victory this season.
Right before kickoff of today's game, it was announced that UDC is ranked No. 9 in the United Soccer Coaches NCAA Division II East Region poll. The Firebirds' next game is at home, Saturday, October 14th vs. the No. 2 ranked team in the East and No. 8 ranked nationally – LIU Post. The athletic department will honor four graduating seniors before the game: Ever Guevera Alvarez, Christopher Moke, Liam Haycock and Victor Salinas Furio.