FAIRFIELD, CT – The Iona College men's soccer team dropped its final non-conference game of the season in overtime to Sacred Heart by a final score of 1-0 on Wednesday afternoon.
Sacred Heart earned the first chance in the contest with sophomore Oscar Curras putting a shot on target and testing Gael sophomore goalkeeper Juan Alcantara in the eighth minute. The Pioneers fired two additional shots before junior Sebastian Gordillo tested his luck in the 13th.
Senior Luis Mendoza had a shot on goal in the 24th, followed by an off target chance by junior Anthony Gomez. Junior Rory Head kept Sacred Heart off the board in the first half by blocking a pair of Pioneer chances over the final 10 minutes of the frame.
At the end of the first half, the Gaels had a 7-6 shots advantage and 2-1 shots on goal edge. Iona had two corner kick chances.
The second half began with senior Joshua Calderon heading one off the right post and freshman Lenworth Lopez putting an attempt on target that sophomore Robert Strain had to save. The Pioneers answered with three straight corner kick chances that Iona thwarted.
Alcantara made his second and third saves in the game with 20 minutes remaining. Senior Ermir Celaj booted from 16 yards out that Alcantara made a diving punch on, leading to a Sacred Heart corner. Curras had a shot on goal as a result a minute later, but again the Gael second year player was up to the chance.
After 90 minutes, Iona had a 19-13 shot advantage and each team had six corner kick attempts.
Sacred Heart scored the game winning strike in the 97th minute. Curras dribbled the ball through the midfield for the Pioneers and made a move to get space in the box. He pushed a grounded shot past the outstretched Alcantara for his second score of the season.
Mendoza had a team-high four shots and two shots on goal. Calderon and Correa each finished with three shots. Lopez had two shots off the bench. Seven different players had one shot.
Iona returns to action on Wednesday, Sept. 27 for its home-opening and season-opening MAAC contest against Manhattan. Kickoff between the Jaspers and Gaels is set for 2 PM. The game can be watched live on WATCHESPN and ESPN3.