DANBURY, CT – Junior Robert Della Penna (Suffield, CT) and rookie Mikey Sciortino (Shelton, CT) each scored second half goals as the Western Connecticut State University men's soccer team rallied to stun the visiting Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), 2-1, in a non-league matchup on Tuesday night at The Westside Athletic Complex. With the win the Colonials, improved to 6-4 overall, while the Trailblazers dropped to 3-8.
The hosts outshot MCLA, 24-5, while also finishing ahead in corner kicks, 7-2. WestConn rookie goalkeeper Daniel Szabo (Trumbull, CT) notched his first collegiate win, improving to 1-2 while notching a save. Senior Kamron Anderson (Springfield, MA) fell to 3-8 for the Trailblazers and finished with eight saves.
The Colonials had a pair of quality scoring chances early in the first half. However, junior midfielder Darion Richeme' (Danbury, CT) missed by inches, firing a shot wide from the right wing before senior teammate Shane Bierfeldt (Torrington, CT) had his blast attempt thwarted by a diving Anderson.
MCLA drew first blood when senior forward Oscar Castro (Middle Island, NY) converted a penalty kick after being taken down from behind inside the box, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead at the break.
WestConn would charge back late in the second stanza, completing the rally with a pair of goals less than two minutes apart. Sciortino took a feed from Della Penna and netted his third goal of the season for the equalizer. Shortly thereafter, Sciortino returned the favor, this time connecting with Della Penna for the tap-in game-winner in the 77th minute of play. The Colonials would maintain ball control the rest of the way to seal the victory.
"We played with tremendous enthusiasm tonight. We had some great opportunities but MCLA was able to go ahead first, 1-0. But our players didn't give up. They continued to hustle and played smart to complete the comeback," said WestConn head coach Joe Mingachos.
The Colonials return to action at non-league opponent Elms on Thursday at 7 p.m.