WEST HARTFORD, Conn. - The University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team scored a pair of second-half goals to defeat the visiting Fisher College Falcons, 3-1, at home on Tuesday afternoon at the USJ Soccer Field. With the win, the Blue Jays improve to 3-1-0 in their inaugural season, while the Falcons fall to 1-2-0. The USJ men's soccer team returns back to the pitch next on Saturday for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) showdown with Regis (Mass.) at home beginning at 12:00 p.m.
The Blue Jays struck first in the opening half in the 26th minute on the first career goal from freshman Jared Galarza (Newington, Conn.). Classmate DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.) received a pass and drove into the right corner before playing a cross back into the penalty area that found freshman forward Daniel Castro (Willimantic, Conn.), but with his back to the goal. Castro used a light touch pass to direct the ball to Glaraza who finished brilliantly with his right foot into the top left corner of the goal bouncing it in off the left post to give USJ the early 1-0 advantage.
Fisher would respond though and knot the score, 1-1, just 4:32 after the Galarza strike. From just inside midfield, Fisher's junior Kervens Supris (Pompano Beach, Fla.) played a perfect through ball between the Blue Jays' back line and drew out freshman goalkeeper Anes Gadun (Clinton, Conn.). Falcons' freshman forward Joel Bailey (Deridder, La.) found himself on the receiving end of the Supris pass and converted into the bottom left corner of the goal to tie things up heading into halftime.
The Blue Jays owned a slight advantage in shots, 5-4, and corner kicks, 3-0, after the opening 45 minutes of action. However, USJ would come out in the second half a different team and dominate the majority of play to earn the result.
Saint Joseph took control of the game and posted a 17-3 advantage in shots in the second period as well as a 4-2 edge in corner kicks. USJ would eventually get the game-winner from Anderson in the 57th minute. Following a Fisher foul just outside the penalty area, freshman Hayden Burbank (Southington, Conn.) curled a beautiful shot around the wall from 19-yards out, but Fisher's sophomore keeper Christopher Garcia (Rowland Heights, Calif.) made a nice diving save. However, the rebound caromed off the crossbar and out to Anderson who collected and finished into an empty net to put the Blue Jays up for good, 2-1.
The Blue Jays fended off a couple late shot attempts by Fisher and tacked on an insurance goal in the final minute of play to secure the 3-1 victory. With the Falcons pressing up, USJ took advantage of a defensive turnover near the visitor's goal. Galarza intercepted a pass and fed it to Castro streaking up the middle, who then chipped it over Garcia for his fourth goal of the season at the 89:28 mark.
Galarza, Anderson, and Castro each finished with a goal and an assist on the afternoon to lead the way for the Blue Jays offensively. Gadun, who went untested over the entire second half, finished with one save and improves his record to 3-1-0 on the season between the pipes. Garcia finished with seven stops for the Falcons in the loss.
USJ held a sizeable, 22-7, advantage in shots, including a 10-2 edge in shots on goal. The Blue Jays also saw a 7-1 advantage in corner kick opportunities.
The USJ men's soccer team returns back to the pitch for a GNAC battle against Regis (Mass.) on Saturday at home. Kickoff on the USJ Soccer Field is scheduled for 12:00 p.m.