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Five Towns College Defeats SUNY Maritime, 2-0.
The starting 11 huddle and take a knee before the kickoff (Photo: Amanda Seltzer)
By Sydney Mountain
On September 17th, the Five Towns College Men’s Soccer team made history in its first victory over an NCAA opponent in program history. After attempting to reach this milestone before without success, this win means more to the team. With goals coming from right midfielder James Habert on a penalty kick, and forward Angel Chavez, the team took a 2-0 victory in a well-fought battle against SUNY Maritime.
After the victory, Head Coach Jason Fiscina said, “Our game plan was to dominate possession. For us to play our brand of soccer, we must have the ball. Lastly, we needed to negate their speed up top and win 50/50s in our defensive half.”
Fiscina’s defensive line did exactly that. Both center defenders, Sebastian Montenegro and Sebastian Gomez, were dominant in controlling the 50/50 or loose balls whenever possible. The outside defenders, Andy Alfonso and Anthony Molina contained the forwards of Maritime to the outside and denied anything that came their way. The great defensive play by the Sound ended in a shutout for goalkeeper Steven Paguada. Paguada also made two huge saves at the end of the first half to keep the game tied at 0-0 going into the break.
At the 56 minute mark, the tie was broken. A goal kick was awarded to the Sound, and they took advantage. Paguada drove the ball to a wide-open William Rivera at mid-field, who gave a quick head pass to Angel Chavez. Chavez quickly tracked down the ball and was in a foot race with the Maritime defender, who ultimately tripped Chavez in the box, awarding the Sound a penalty kick.
Right midfielder James Habert (#19) lines up to take a penalty kick (Photo: Amanda Seltzer)
The team decided that right midfielder James Habert would be responsible for the kick. Habert snuck the ball into the left bottom corner of the net, just past the goalie’s hands, and opened up the scoring for the game. Habert said, “It was kind of a surreal moment. To have all the boys that excited was incredible. Even still, knowing I scored the winner on our first win over an NCAA program that happened to win their conference last year is just an incredible feeling.”
The scoring didn’t stop there. After a goal kick was taken by the Maritime goalie, Will Rivera was the first to the ball and gave another head pass to Chavez, but this time Chavez wasn’t going down. He battled with two Maritime defenders before burying the ball deep in the net. Coach Fiscina said that Chavez’s skill was dangerous to opponents and that his goal was a culmination of all the hard work he was putting into the game.
There’s no doubt this win was big, but the team isn’t satisfied yet. The Sound’s long-term goal is to win the HVIAC and get an opportunity to play in the USCAA national tournament. The next game for the Sound is at home on Wednesday September 22nd at 4 pm against the College of St. Elizabeth. Come out and support the team!