SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (October 25, 2017) – Jovanni Garcia tallied two goals as the American International College men's soccer team erased a 3-1 second-half deficit to defeat the Franklin Pierce University Ravens 4-3 Wednesday evening in a rain-soaked Northeast-10 Conference affair at Abdow Field.
With the win, the Yellow Jackets improve to 6-8-1, 5-6-1 NE10 on the year and leapfrog the Ravens to the seventh spot in the NE10 standings. The loss, the Ravens fourth in a row, sends the Crimson and Grey to 6-6-2, 4-6-2 NE10 and into a tie for the eighth seed in the conference postseason picture.
For the Ravens, Noam Kolakofsky (Liman, Israel) notched two goals in the setback. In his sophomore campaign, Kolakofsky currently leads FPU in goals (5), assists (5), points (15), shots (48) and shots on goal (20) which all are new personal-bests. The multi-score game was his second of his career and year. Raven netminder Jadel Poon-Lewis (Diego Martin, Trinidad and Tobago) stopped two shots in the loss as he fell to 7-6-2.
AIC was led by Garcia's two scores and single goals from Connor Hicks and team captain Jake Durham. Ioannis Iatroudis made three saves in the win as he improved to 4-5-0 overall.
With 4:57 left on the clock, Durham spun off a Raven defender and fired a shot high into the net which fooled Poon-Lewis as he didn't leave his spot on the end line. Durham's marker was his eighth of the year which completed the Yellow Jackets comeback bid.
AIC broke the deadlock in the 25th minute as freshman forward Josip Validzic crossed the ball from right to left to Hicks who was posted up a few feet from the left goalpost. The ball arrived to Hicks and he tapped the rock into the open left side of the net to give the Yellow Jackets an early 1-0 edge.
A few minutes later, the Crimson and Grey were awarded a penalty shot as Hamish Cadigan (Christchurch, New Zealand) was tackled from behind in the box by Alexandre Frank. Frank notched a Yellow Card for his tackle. Cadigan took the free attempt and converted the shot to the goalies right as the Ravens knotted up the score at 1-1.
Cadigan's score was his fourth of the season which was a new personal-best. He also set a new career-high in total points with 11. He remains a perfect 4-for-4 in penalty shot attempts over his four-year collegiate career.
About 11 minutes into the second half, Kolakofsky beat some AIC defenders and smoked a shot into the right of the net for his first score of the match. Kolakofsky followed up his first goal with his second of the contest approximately 1:09 later as he forced a turnover at midfield, dribbled through a few defenders and stroked a shot home into the left part of the cage to give the Ravens a comfortable 3-1 lead.
The Yellow Jackets stormed right back as Anders Graff Nygard lofted a pass from midfield to a streaking Jovanni Garcia who beat his defender. Garcia saw Poon-Lewis sneak out to play the ball and he chipped the ball over the keeper's head into the empty cage to pull AIC within one 3-2.
Seven minutes later, AIC netted the equalizer when Validzic lofted a cross into the box that was knocked down by a Raven defender. The ball found the foot of Garcia who stroked a one-timer into the net to make the score three all.
With under three minutes to play trailing by one, Raven junior defender Jordan Barnett (Grimsby, England) smoked a shot from just outside the box that Iatroudis barley got his hands on. The result was a Raven corner kick from Cadigan as Barnett had one more opportunity for the Ravens, but his shot went wide as the Yellow Jackets hung on for a shocking comeback victory.
Franklin Pierce looks to end their losing skid Friday as they wrap up the regular season versus NE10 opponent Stonehill College in a Senior Night contest at 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).