Senior midfielder Bill McGuiness (Forty Fort, Pa./Wyoming Valley West) scored in the first minute of double overtime to lift The University of Scranton men’s soccer team to a heart-stopping 4-3 victory over Drew University in Landmark Conference action at Fitzpatrick Field on Saturday afternoon.
McGuiness’s goal capped a frenzied finish that saw two goals in the final five minutes of regulation, followed by a frantic first overtime goal. The senior won it when he ripped a shot from the left side after taking a pass from senior midfielder Matthew Salvatore (Howell, N.J./Howell).
The win keeps the Royals, who are ranked No. 22 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national rankings, unbeaten at 10-0-2 and 4-0 in the Landmark Conference, good for first place and the best start for the squad since joining the Landmark Conference in 2007. It’s also the first time Scranton has won 10 games since going 12-6-2 in 2009.
The Royals forced overtime when junior forward Nick Paganelli (Ossining, N.Y./Fordham Preparatory) scored with 1:40 remaining in regulation when he punched a shot in after taking a header pass from junior midfielder Colin McFadden (Ventnor City, N.J./St. Augustine Preparatory).
Drew (8-3-3, 2-2 Landmark) had taken a 3-2 lead two and a half minutes earlier when sophomore midfielder John Nogiewich (Pine Beach, N.J./Toms River South) scored his second goal of the game. The Rangers had tied the game earlier on an own goal by the Royals in the 62nd minute.
Scranton took a 2-1 lead in the first half on goals by Salvatore and senior forward Patrick R. Daly (Lebanon, N.J./Immaculata). Salvatore scored when he collected a loose ball off a free kick by junior defender Stephen Kilty (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West). Daly’s goal broke a 1-1 tie when he muscled in a shot off a cross by McGuiness.
Senior goalie James Dillon (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) made five saves, including one in the first overtime, for Scranton.
The Royals outshot the Rangers, 19-5, and had a 3-2 advantage in penalty kicks.
The victory also continues the Royals’ unbeaten run to open the season, the third-best unbeaten start in school history. Scranton opened the 1986 season at 17-0, then went 20-0 to open the following season.
Scranton returns to action on Wednesday, Oct.17, when it travels to Bethlehem, Pa. to face Moravian College in a Landmark Conference match at 3:30 p.m.