(Fairfield, CT) – The Sacred Heart Men's Soccer team improved to 3-0 on the young season, scoring two second half goals within five minutes to come back and beat the Holy Cross Crusaders 2-1 on a humid Wednesday night at Campus Field.
Marcello Castro (Panana, Brazil) tied the game on a penalty kick after Kevin O'Connell was assessed a yellow card for a handball in the box in the 63rd minute. Shortly thereafter, Mahmoud Kafel (Fairfield, CT) dribbled in and fired from about 25 yards out to score his first collegiate goal, which also proved to be the game-winner in the 69th minute.
The Crusaders kept up the pressure up with three straight corner kicks in the 77th minute, leading to a good attempt by Joshua Cintas on a header, but Tucker Hackett made one of his many clutch saves on the night in heavy traffic to protect SHU's lead. He saved one last great one for the 88th minute, leaping to deflect a free kick away from the top left corner of the goal and preserve the win.
Holy Cross opened the scoring when Cintas drove a high shot from the left wing after being sprung inside the box on a lead pass by Monty Sanders in the seventh minute. Moments later, Sanders snuck in off a turnover and nearly scored as well, Hackett answered with a sliding save on his low left-footer.
Omer Levy (Yahud, Israel) nearly tied the game in the 15th minute, sailing a fairly open shot barely over the crossbar after Castro sent him in a sneaky pass following a Crusader foul. Levy came close again in the 39th minute, bending a free kick from about 35 yards out on the right side just wide of the far post. The Pioneers could not generate any other chances through a first half the Crusaders otherwise dictated.
Hackett, however, kept it a one-goal deficit and allowed SHU to make its comeback. He made a great stop three minutes into the second half on Eddie Viscount's header off a cross from the right side, sprawling to his right to get a hand on it. He once again met the challenge of another low and wide-side shot, robbing Patrick Buckley in the 57th minute. The freshmen keeper finished with six saves, including five in the second half.
Sacred Heart returns to action on September 12 on the road against NJIT.