BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (September 2, 2017) – Coming off a 12-6 overall mark a year ago and their first appearance in the NCAA Division II Tournament since the 2012 campaign, the Franklin Pierce University men's soccer team returned to the pitch on Saturday evening and were victors in a 2-1 non-conference showdown versus the University of Bridgeport at Knights Field. The win was the first of the year for the Ravens while the setback dropped the Purple Knights to 1-1.
Franklin Pierce boasts a different roster this season as they look to replace the production of two of their top point scorers, Jacob Blixt, who is no longer with the program and Marius Preber who earned his master's degree this past year.
The contest was a physical affair that saw 28 total fouls called, three yellow cards handed out as well as three penalty kick opportunities.
Raven forward Oran Ben Zion (Tel Aviv, Israel) tallied the first goal of the season for the crimson and grey as well as his first career collegiate goal during the 28th minute of play. Fellow Israeli Noam Kolakofsky (Liman, Israel) stroked a long ball through the middle of the defense to Ben Zion who then promptly beat Purple Knights keeper Daniel Coviella one-on-one. Ben Zion's marker was the lone score of the half for both squads as FPU held a 1-0 lead at the games midway point.
Just four minutes into the second stanza, a foul was called on Raven goalkeeper Jadel Poon-Lewis (Diego Martin, Trinidad & Tobago) which set up the Purple Knights with the first penalty kick of the game. Lucas Santos took the PK and deposited a shot by Poon-Lewis to knot the game at one all with tons of time left.
Both squads traded blows back and forth until senior team captain Hamish Cadigan (Christchurch, New Zealand) notched the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute. Cadigan was awarded the PK after a foul was called on UB at the end line. Cadigan, who is a defender tallied his first ever collegiate game-winner and only his fourth career goal.
With two minutes to play in the 88th minute, Bridgeport had a chance to tie after a handball in the box was called on Franklin Pierce. Lucas Santos, who bested Poon-Lewis earlier in the half, stepped to the line to tie the contest. Santos lofted a shot that hit the cross bar and went out of play. The Purple Knights retained the ball for a corner kick and Santos settled for one last shot in the 90th minute, but he was stifled by Poon-Lewis once again as the Ravens left Connecticut with the win.
Jadel Poon-Lewis earned his first win of the campaign as he stopped four of five shots in 90 minutes of play. Purple Knights netminder Daniel Coviella took the loss and fell to 1-1 on the season as he made five saves.
The Ravens return home on Wednesday, September 6th for their final non-conference game, their home opener versus Dominican (N.Y.) with kickoff slated for 7:00 p.m.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce men's soccer apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).