Courtesy of athletics.SJFC.edu
PITTSFORD, N.Y. – A 96th-minute goal decided the St. John Fisher College men’s soccer team’s first conference matchup of the season as the Cardinals won their first match of the season at Growney Stadium over the Hartwick Hawks, 3-2. With the win, Fisher improved to 1-6 overall and 1-0 in the Empire 8, while the Hawks dropped to 1-6 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
In the teams’ first ever meeting, the Cardinals struck early to put themselves in the driver’s seat. In just the ninth minute, Justin Bonetto broke away from the Hawks’ defense and fed a right-side ball to Brennan Brown (McQuaid) who rung the back of the Hartwick net. The score marked the sophomore’s first goal of the season.
The defenses took over for the remainder of the first half as the Cardinals’ back line of Aaron Wilkins (Greece Odyssey), Shea Lynch, Justin Miles, and Tim Brown (McQuaid) prevented the Hawks from striking.
Just three minutes following halftime, Hartwick scored back-to-back goals to put them up one score. The opponent’s lead did not hold for long as Brennan Brown fired a rebounded shot past the Hawks’ keeper in the 60th minute.
The teams exchanged shots for the remainder of the second half as the Cardinals outshot their opponent, 13-11. However, neither team found the back of the net again in regulation, sending the teams to a sudden-death overtime period.
Six minutes into overtime, Joe Balls evaded a Hawks’ defender and crossed a ball through the middle for Ben Woolingham, the Cardinals’ striker, as he redirected the rocket to Colin Witman who clocked the perfectly placed feed between the posts for the golden goal. The game-winning score marked the junior’s first collegiate goal.
The win signals a new era for men’s soccer as interim head coach, Justin Ferron, notched his first career coaching victory. The former Fisher midfielder made 44 starts and scored six goals in his tenure as a Cardinal.
Fisher tallied 20 shots in the contest as Brennan Brown and Bonetto led the offensive drive with five shots each. Jeff Meyers added four shots of his own with two landing on goal. Ben Woolingham put two shots on the stat line and Lynch, Drew Ksanznak, Tim Brown, and Witman had one shot apiece.
Cardinals’ keeper, Aaron Smith logged all 96 minutes in goal and made eight saves in the contest. His season record improved to 1-5.
The Cardinals look to keep their momentum going when they travel across town at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, September 24 for a duel under the lights at the University of Rochester.