Chicopee, MA- The Elms College mens' soccer team won 2-1 in overtime against New England College on Saturday afternoon on Leary Field. With the win, the Blazers improve to 2-6-3 on the season, and 1-1 in the NECC.
Tension was in the air as this was a huge game for both teams. The Blazers dominated the first ten minutes of the game and had chances to take the lead early. Their best chance came from Justin Szwajkowski (Westhampton, MA) as he hit the post from a tight angle. From then on, the game was even as both teams were shutting down each other defensively.
The Blazers would strike first and brake the deadlock in the 24th minute through senior striker and captain Babba Jaden(Clarkston, GA). The Pilgrims' defense couldn't deal with a bouncing ball, which Jaden took advantage of and slotted the ball into the back of the net. The Blazers went onto shut down the Pilgrims the rest of the half, and hold a 1-0 advantage.
New England College were much more productive at the start of the second half as they found many chances to equalize. Wiskens Flavil (Boston, MA) had the most opportunities out of the NEC team as he put three shots on frame, however, Elms keeper Julian Brosi (West Newbury, MA) was there to keep the Blazers in the lead. Elms had their chances to double their advantage with shots from Alex Egan (Watertown, MA). The Blazers would take four corners in the second half whipped in by Jose Ulloa (Stamford, CT), however, the Blazers couldn't put a lid on the game. This came to haunt them as New England College were awarded a penalty in the 74th minute. Flavil would put away the penalty making the score all square 1-1 with 15 minutes to play. Neither team could find a winner, sending the game to overtime.
With overtime starting, Leary was filled with mixed emotions as everyone wanted to be the hero and didn't want to make a mistake. It only took 7 minutes for the game to be decided as Jaden dramatically won it for the Blazers. A free kick by Pedro Duarte (Chicopee, MA) was flicked on by a Pilgrims' defender giving Jaden an open lane to take a shot and win the game in which he calmly did as the Blazers won 2-1 in OT.
Brosi had five saves as he got his first win of the season. Egan, Szwajkowski, and Jaden combined for 9 shots, with 2 goals coming from Jaden. Mike Lemke (Bristol, CT) and Duarte combined for 2 assists. The Blazers' next game is Wednesday, October 9th, at 7pm on Leary Field against Western New England. We will see all you Blazer fans there!!!
By Alex Egan