Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
CHICOPEE, Mass. – The Elms College men's soccer team held off visiting Westfield State, 2-1, in a non-conference victory at Leary Field Tuesday afternoon. With the win, the Blazers improve to 4-9 overall, while the Owls dips to 5-7 on the season.
The Blazers cracked the scoreboard in the seventh minute as senior C.J. Dabkowski (Bristol, Conn.) secured a ball from junior John Dunphy (Farmington, Conn.), raced to the side of the box and chipped a ball to the front of the net, finding junior Shaquille Robinson (New York, N.Y.), who beat Westfield State keeper senior Alex Kraver (West Springfield, Mass.) to the low left side, giving the Blazers a 1-0 lead.
In the 10th minute of play, the Blazers added to their advantage as sophomore Babba Jaden (Clarkston, Ga.) sprinted up the sideline, worked through the Owls defense, and tucked a pass to the front of the net, where Dunphy ripped a shot to the back of the net, pushing Elms ahead 2-0. The Owls had a opportunity to get on the board with 13:57 on the clock, but Elms freshman keeper Julian Brosi (West Newbury, Mass.) denied Owls junior Josh Bailargeon (Russell, Mass.) on a close-angle attempt to preserve the 2-0 score into halftime.
Brosi stepped up big for the Blazers in the 67th minute as junior Dave Stefano (Ludlow, Mass.) played a through ball to freshman Jason Haji (Shrewsbury, Mass.), but Brosi raced from the goal and stifled Haji one-on-one to maintain the 2-0 lead.
In the final minute of action, Owls junior Dave Stefano (Ludlow, Mass.) chipped a ball into the Blazers box, which junior Legend Mu'Min (Springfield, Mass.) chipped over the head of a challenging Brosi to close the gap to 2-1.
The Owls outshot the Blazers, 19-13, during the contest. Brosi matched a career-high with nine saves in his first collegiate victory, while Kraver made three saves in the loss.
The Blazers will look to remain in the win column when they travel to Lesley University for a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) tilt Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Westfield State hosts Bridgewater State in MASCAC action Saturday at 11:00 a.m.