FAIRFIELD, Conn.— Sophomore Oscar Curras netted his second game winning goal of the season in overtime off the assist from Senior Ermir Celaj to give the Sacred Heart men's soccer team the 1-0 victory over Iona College. The shutout victory over the Gaels (1-2-2) capped a four-game homestand for the Pioneers (3-5) that saw overtime action in every contest, SHU earned a 3-1 record in that stretch.
The first half of action saw back-and-forth play between both teams, with Sacred Heart controlling the possessions. The Gael offensive attacked kicked things up in the second half with 12-7 shots advantage. Sophomore goalkeeper Robert Strain made four big saves for the Pioneers in the period to preserve the tie into overtime.
Iona started off overtime strong with two shots in the 93rd minute. Curras kicked up the SHU attack in the 95th minute with shot on goal that was saved by Juan Alcantara. The speed of the game continued in the Pioneers favor as senior Ermir Celaj pushed the ball up top. He hit Curras in stride as the sophomore took one dribble and fired the ball into the bottom corner of the goal in the 97th minute.
The Gaels outshot the Pioneers 21-15 in the contest with both teams firing six shots on goal. Strain picked up six saves for his third career shutout. Alcantara made five saves for Iona while Strain picked up six stops for his first shutout of the season and third of his career.
The Pioneers return to the pitch Tuesday, September 26 at Army West Point for a 7:00 p.m. start.
- Alcantara made the diving stop on a shot by Curras in the eighth minute.
- Riley Sullivan geared up for the boot from 20 yards out but his shot was blocked by the Gaels defense.
- Iona held the slight edge in shots at 7-6 in the period.
- Pioneers attempted three corner kicks in the 49th minute but were unable to convert a scoring play on any chances.
- Celaj & Curras both fired shots from inside the box in the 69th minute but Alcantara denied them both.
- Strain made two big saves in the 82nd & 85th minute for the Gaels final shots of regulation.
- Senior Ezra Siyadhuba missed high left of the goal in the 89th minute to close out regulation.
- Pioneers defense came up with a big block on the snipe by Samuel Sandz in the 94th minute.
- Curras fired home the winning goal from nearly the same spot as his 2-1 double overtime game winner on September 9.