Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's soccer team edged visiting Curry College, 2-1, in a non-conference match at Leary Field Monday night. With the win, the Blazers rise to 1-5 on the season, while Curry holds a 4-2-1 mark overall.
In the sixth minute of play, Elms sophomore Babba Jaden (Clarkston, Ga.) grabbed a loose ball at midfield and streaked through the Colonels defense to the goal line and lifted a cross to the front of the net where freshman Michael Lemke (Bristol, Conn.) jumped and volleyed the ball into the near corner, staking Elms to a 1-0 lead. The Blazers held the 1-0 lead heading into halftime.
With 36:05 remaining in the second half, the Blazers potted an insurance goal as junior Anthony Romei (Enfield, Conn.) launched a corner kick to the far post where freshman Myles Hurley (Manchester, Conn.) played the ball back to the front of the net, and Jaden tucked a shot past Curry sophomore goalkeeper Paul DeMaio (North Andover, Mass.) to extend the Elms advantage to 2-0.
Less than 10 minutes later, the Colonels worked at the deficit by capitalizing on a corner kick opportunity. On the ensuing attempt, Curry junior Christian Mancini (Woodbury, Conn.) curled a ball towards the front of the net where junior Jake Szyndler (South Dartmouth, Mass.) elevated and headed the ball inside the far corner to close the gap to 2-1 with 25:39 to play. The Blazers defense held strong down the stretch, limiting the Colonels to three shots in the final 25 minutes to preserve the 2-1 victory.
The Blazers and Colonels finished even in the shot column at 11 shots apiece. Elms freshman keeper AJ Oliviera (Beacon Falls, Conn.) registered two saves in his first collegiate win, while DeMaio stopped four shots for Curry.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they battle Sage College in a non-conference match Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. Curry hosts Nichols in a Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) clash Friday at 6:30 p.m.