RINDGE, N.H. (September 30, 2017) – The no. 21 Franklin Pierce University men's soccer team was upset 2-1 in regulation by Northeast-10 Conference opponent the University of New Haven on a chilly evening at Sodexo Field Saturday. With the win, the Chargers gallop to 2-7-0, 2-4-0 NE10 while the loss, the Crimson and Grey's second in a row, drops them to 5-2-1, 3-2-1 NE10.
Franklin Pierce held the advantage in shots (20-to-17) and in corner kicks (4-to-2), but the guests controlled the pace of play in the second half by keeping the ball down in the Ravens defensive end. However, New Haven barely outshot the hosts in the second stanza by a nine-to-eight margin.
Franklin Pierce took the lead early in the ninth minute as sophomore defender Niklas Laudahn (Olfen, Germany) lined a cross from the right to the middle of the pitch. Classmate and midfielder Noam Kolakofsky (Liman, Israel) collected the pass and rifled a one-timer about 25 yards out to the left of the cage past sophomore goalkeeper Stefano Lorusso to give the Crimson and Grey a 1-0 lead.
The Chargers best chance to score in the first half came in the 29th minute as Pablo Perez had a free kick chance 20 yards out following a Raven foul. Perez lofted a high, arching shot that sailed wide of the mark as the Ravens lead 1-0 at the intermission.
Just 10 minutes into the second half a foul was called in the box which led to a penalty shot opportunity for the Chargers. Graduate defender Brian Rebelo took the chance and struck a liner to the right of Raven goalkeeper Jadel Poon-Lewis (Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago). Poon-Lewis stretched out as far as he could, but he couldn't get his fingers on the rock as the ball shot past him into the bottom left of the net to tie the score at one all.
Franklin Pierce had a few chances to regain the lead off corner kicks, but the header opportunities were either too high or wide of the mark.
With the game destined for overtime, New Haven made one more charge downfield to the Ravens defensive zone. Junior forward Sukrija Dudic crossed the ball to the right side of the field to a streaking Mawasi Charles. Charles took a sharp angle to the right of the cage and ripped a shot attempt high towards the top right corner past a leaping Poon-Lewis with 28 seconds left to put the Chargers on the brink of a shocking victory.
The Ravens regrouped at the center of the pitch, took possession and ran down the field for a final attempt. Time was ticking down as the ball found the foot of Laudahn who smoked a liner just outside of the cage as New Haven left Rindge with a stunning upset of their nationally-ranked conference foe.
Stefano Lorusso made seven saves in the victory as he improved to 2-7-0 on the season while Poon-Lewis dropped to 5-2-1 while stopping five shots.
Franklin Pierce will look to right the ship next Saturday, October 7th when they travel to Bentley for a 3:00 p.m. NE10 contest.
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).