NEW ROCHELLE, NY –The Iona College men's soccer team extended its win streak to six straight with a double-overtime, 2-1 victory over Manhattan on Wednesday afternoon. The reigning MAAC Rookie of the Year, Mauro Bravo, assisted on Joseph Cusano's game-tying goal late in the second half, then netted the game winner in the 102nd minute.
Manhattan registered the match's first two shots, sailing both high over the crossbar in the first 11 minutes. Junior Najim Romero sandwiched an off-target shot of his own before the Jaspers' third shot of the afternoon in the 16thminute.
About two minutes later, Manhattan's Callum Carsley put a shot on net that was stopped by an Iona defender, directing the match's first shot on goal away from danger. This led to a corner kick, the first of the day, but the Jaspers couldn't get a shot away.
The chippiness between both sides picked up as the two sides continued to trade fouls without much offense between them. Malcolm Moreno and Francois Dulysse were both issued yellow cards in the opening 45 minutes of action at Mazzella Field. Both teams entered the half scoreless with a combined seven shots, just one of those on net.
After a fairly uneventful 14 minutes of the second half, junior Josh Plimpton drew a foul in the box, setting up the Maroon & Gold with a penalty kick. Sophomore Esad Mackic took it for the Gaels, but was stopped as he tried the lower right corner against goalie Hunter Kochiss. The save was the first of the match for the rookie keeper.
Then, in the 72ndminute, a long cross towards net was touched by Moritz Riegel and rolled past Gabriel Cinanni as he tried to come off the end-line and make a play on the ball. The goal was the second of the season for Riegel and gave the Jaspers a 1-0 edge with less than 20 minutes to play.
In those final 19 minutes of play, Iona got shots from Bravo twice, one of which ricocheted off the crossbar on a free kick from just outside the 16-yard box. For the second straight match, the Gaels would get a goal from an unlikely candidate; Cusano scored with his back heel in the 88thminute to propel the Maroon & Gold into overtime tied at one apiece with Manhattan. The score was the first of the junior's career, just as Francesc Chulia's goal last week at Siena was the first of his time with Iona.
After Manhattan had dominated much of the entire match in regulation, the late goal for Iona shifted momentum completely. The Gaels overtook control of the match in the first overtime period, but happened upon nothing in the first 10 minutes of extra time. The team's best chance came late from Plimpton, but the Jaspers made two stops on those tries.
Mauro Bravo fired a long-range shot 93 seconds into the second overtime period that barely cleared the fingertips of Kochiss, completing the Gaels' comeback. Iona improved to 7-2-0 on the season, remaining undefeated at home and in league play.
The Gaels will host the conference's preseason favorite, Fairfield, on Saturday, October 12 at 3:00 PM on Mazzella Field. The match will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
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