Hawks suffer first loss to George Mason
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – George Mason recorded a goal late in the first half, and the University of Hartford men's soccer team was unable to counter in the second as it suffered its first blemish in 2013 via a 1-0 loss on Saturday night at Al-Marzook Field at Alumni Stadium. The Hawks' record dips to 6-1-2 while the Patriots improve to 5-2-1 on the year.
The Hawks will look to bounce back on Wednesday evening when they cross over the West Hartford town line to New Britain to take on neighboring Central Connecticut State University. Kickoff between the two local foes is slated for 7 p.m.
Minutes after Romario Jones came inches away from providing the Hawks with an advantage before halftime, Laurent Newsome put George Mason ahead, 1-0, in the closing seconds of the first half, giving his squad a lead it would not relinquish.
With one tick remaining before the break, George Mason scored on a scrap goal as Newsome connected on a scrum off a corner kick that was awarded with 11 seconds to go. Timi Mulgrew took the honors on the free kick, looping a ball off the right goal post. The rebound, which nicked off the head of Mason Eckenrode, landed at the feet of Newsome who knocked in his third goal of the year from inside the six-yard box.
Prior to what proved to be the game-winning marker, freshman Romario Jones provided Hartford with its best scoring opportunity of the half. In the 41st minute, Jones connected on a long throw-in from Aleko Petridis, blasting a high shot from just outside the fingertips. Using his fingertips, George Mason keeper Steffen Kraus got under the ball, forcing it to hit the bottom of the crossbar and drop just in front of the goal line.
Forced to play from behind for the first time this season, Hartford, which held a slight 5-4 edge in shots in the opening period, was granted an extra-man opportunity for the final 31 minutes as Eckenrode was dealt his second yellow card, resulting in his ejection from the match.
The Hawks attacked, matching the Patriots' two shots during that final stretch. However, they were unable to muster up the equalizer.
Back-to-back opportunities were created by the Hartford offense in the 68th minute, but neither would force Kraus into action. In that stretch, Jones had his shot blocked before David Bernhardsson countered on the rebound, sending a shot wide to the left.
Kraus made a pair of saves for the Patriots while MacKinnon recorded one stop on the evening.
The Hawks were playing without forward Anthony Santaga and defender Rohan Roye, a pair of starters who were forced to the sidelines as a result of previous cautions
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