BURLINGTON, VT – The Iona men's soccer team took down the Vermont Catamounts on Friday night, 3-1, for its first win of the season. Najim Romeroscored the first goal of the game, but it was freshman Eimantas Lotuzys'strike that broke a 1-1 tie and was the eventual game winner.
The match opened up with an early foul on Vermont, which lead to a shot from Tomas Jamett 58 seconds in. His shot missed out wide to the right of the cage.
The two teams continued to trade shots back and forth; it wasn't until the 18-minute mark when one of the keepers was forced to make a save. Giuliano Santucci did just that on a Jonathan Bryant shot, and then stopped another one five minutes later.
Romero swung momentum in the Gaels' direction, striking early to give Iona a 1-0 lead just 25 minutes into the match. Junior Josh Plimpton was credited with the assist on Romero's first goal of the season.
The Catamounts found the equalizer in the 33rd minute when Lucas Shaw snuck one past Santucci. Not even a full minute later, Lotuzys scored an unassisted goal to retake the lead for the Maroon & Gold. The score was the first of his collegiate career.
The Gaels would close out the first half with two more tries on net, but neither could extend their lead. Vermont began the second half with two corners, but nothing came of its opportunities.
Mauro Bravo had two chances in the 60th and 62nd minutes, but could not bury either, and the score remained 2-1.
The Catamounts had their best chance to find the equalizer in a five-minute span halfway through the second half. Santucci was forced to make two stops and then perhaps a stroke of luck, as Alex Nagy's shot grazed off the left post, kept Iona ahead as the clock began to work against Vermont.
Lenworth Lopez would put the icing on the cake, scoring a late goal to all but put the match away. Lotuzys got credit for the assist, his third point of the match, as Iona marched on to its first victory of the season.
Iona will play the final game of a season-opening, three-game road swing on Tuesday night against St. John's. The match is set for a 7:30 PM kick-off and will be broadcasted on ESPN3.
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