Nationally-Ranked Golden Bears Take 3rd Place in Own Soccer City Shootout
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Jake Bartnik scored the only goal of the game off a rebound of his own penalty kick attempt to give the Western New England University men's soccer team a 1-0 victory Sunday over cross-town rival Springfield College, clinching third place in the 2012 Soccer City Shootout at Suprenant Field.
Nationally 23rd-ranked Western New England improves to 1-1 while Springfield drops to 0-2 on the year.
After a scoreless first half in which both teams recorded five shots, the Golden Bears put more offensive pressure on the last-third of the field. That pursuit led to a hard foul by a SC defender in the Pride 18-yard box, yielding a penalty kick try by Bartnik in the 56th minute. Brett Bascom made a diving save to his right, but Bartnik followed his shot and converted the rebound for his first goal of the season.
Senior tri-captain Nick Starr made two saves in goal for Western New England to earn his second career shutout, and his defense did the rest to keep the Pride off the scoreboard.
Bartnik and Starr were joined on the All-Shootout Tournament Team by Springfield's Alex Reilly, David Chassen, Merchant Marine's Kurt Olsen, Abboss Rezaie and Eastern Connecticut's Mike Radlbeck, Jordan Munsell, Mitch Power (Offensive MVP) and Bradley Fletcher (Defensive MVP).
Eastern Connecticut (2-0) edged Merchant Marine (1-1) 2-1 in overtime to take the championship. Fletcher, a back, scored the sudden-victory goal on a penalty kick with 1 minute and 24 seconds gone in the extra session to set off a wild celebration by the Warriors team bench.
Merchant Marine carried the play for most of the first half, which endured a 17-minute weather delay due to heavy showers, including a Nick Vogel unassisted goal in the 5th minute for a 1-0 lead.
But the Warriors knotted the score in the 61st minute when Carl Stensland found the back of the net on a feed by Christopher Giustina.
For the game, Eastern Connecticut held advantages in shots (17-11), shots on goal (9-5) and corner kicks (7-0).