Fairfield, CT – The Sacred Heart men's soccer team defeated LIU Brooklyn 1-0 Sunday night for a much need NEC victory. The Pioneers, coming off three straight 1-0 losses are now 6-6 overall and 1-3 in the Northeast Conference. SHU battled back from an early 1-0 deficit with two unanswered goals to bounce back to .500 on the season.
It didn't take the Blackbirds very long to put in the first goal of the game, knocking one in the back of the net just two minutes and nineteen seconds into the game. David Nuernberg buried a beautiful cross from Robert Soto to give LIU the 1-0 lead. The Pioneers got on the board in the 32nd minute to tie the game at one a piece. Junior forward Ronaldo Vieira (Farmington, MA) knocked home a rebound created by a shot from freshman midfielder Mahmoud Kafel (Fairfield, CT) which was initially saved by LIU goalkeeper Nathan Stockie. Senior midfielder Marcello Castro (Panana, Brazil) gave the Pioneers a 2-1 lead in the 36th minute when he blasted a free kick by Stockie from about 25 yards out. The strike from Castro ended up being the game-winner for Sacred Heart.
The Pioneers had a few nice chances in the second half, specifically by Castro but he was denied each time by Stockie, who made a couple spectacular saves. The save of the day though had to come from Sacred Heart goalkeeper Tucker Hackett (Madison, CT), his only save of the day. Hackett made a game-saving save with about a minute left in regulation to preserve a much needed Pioneer victory. A certain header goal from LIU was denied by a lunging Hackett, knocking it over the cross-bar.