FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Senior midfielder and co-captain Mario Mililli (Shelton, Conn.) found the back of the net just over three minutes into overtime to give the Sacred Heart University men's soccer team a 3-2 Northeast Conference victory over Long Island on Campus Field, Friday evening. The win, SHU's second straight, improved the Pioneers to 6-2 overall and 1-0 in the NEC. The Blackbirds fell to 3-6 and 0-1.
Sacred Heart held a 1-0 lead until LIU sophomore midfielder Elliot Kane received a pass at the top of the 18 from junior midfielder Josh Maley and fired a shot, that ricocheted off a defender and into the net for the equalizing score. Nearly four minutes later the Blackbirds were on the board again. This time senior striker Juan Lanza took an open shot from inside the box that gave LIU a 2-1 lead at the 65:56 mark.
The Pioneers continued to battle throughout the remaining minutes of regulation. With less than six minutes the Long Island defense gained possession and began to reset the ball in the backfield when SHU graduate student Patrick Daka (Chingola, Zambia) came from behind to swipe the ball from the defender. Daka dribbled in contested and drilled his shot to the lower left to know the game at two.
In the extra frame, Mililli's goal came from the right side, nearly 30 yards out. His shot sailed over Blackbird junior goalkeeper Adam Janssen who was caught off his line.
The Pioneers had gotten on the board first early in the opening stanza. Senior co-captain Lusiano Dadario (East Haven, Conn.) received a tipped ball from sophomore forward Brian Francolini (Ellington, Conn.) and continued on toward the goal and lifted his shot past Janssen to record his first goal of the season.
Long Island had just one shot in the first half, but its best scoring opportunity came in the 25th minute. A low cross from junior Steve Jakubowski, intended for sophomore forward Jakeem Johnson, was cut off by diving Pioneer keeper Alex Fait (Ottawa, Ont.).
Sacred Heart racked up a 15-8 advantage in shots for the game, while each side attempted only on corner kick, apiece.
The Pioneers are back in action on Sunday at 12:00 pm against NEC opponent St. Francis (NY) on Campus Field. The game is directly followed by a 3:00 pm women's soccer contest between Sacred Heart and Bryant.