The men’s soccer team defeated the Utica College Pioneers 2-1 today at Higgins Stadium. The Bombers are now 2–5–1 on the year and 3–0 in Empire 8 Conference play.
The Blue and Gold fell behind early in the game, as Pioneer senior midfielder Jonathan Wood scored in the 20th minute. An intended cross by Wood deflected off a Bomber defender back to Wood. He then volleyed the ball into the upper left corner of the net.
The South Hill squad responded 12 minutes later as a counterattack led to a Pioneer handball inside the penalty area. Freshman forward Zach Hutchinson converted the ensuing penalty shot to tie the score.
Following the goal, the Bombers picked up their energy and pressured the ball. Then, with less than two minutes to play in the first half, senior midfielder Jon Sylvetsky put the team ahead. Freshman midfielder Liam Joy headed the ball across the goal to the 18-yard line and Sylvetsky rushed onto it and one-timed it past the goalkeeper into the top left corner.
Sylvetsky said the goal was a result of Joy’s efforts and good timing.
“Liam won the ball over two guys and it just popped out to me at the corner of the box,” he said. “I tried to get it on target and it went in.”
The game went back and forth in the second half, with both teams getting scoring opportunities. Utica College made a push in the closing minutes, but the Bomber defense denied any opportunities. Freshman goalkeeper Jordan Gentile got the win.
Head Coach Andy Byrne said he was pleased with the team’s resilience and its unbeaten Empire 8 Conference record.
“I was happy that they fought back from a one goal deficit,” he said. “We’re 3–0 in the conference, which is exciting for the guys.”