Photos by Liam Murphy
Freshman pair gain first points in 1-0 victory over Bridgewater State
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. -- Freshmen Nicholas Warren (Southbury) and Ryan Pomroy (Ivoryton) - two of six newcomers in the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer starting lineup - connected for their first career points with 2:13 left to lift the Warriors to a 1-0 non-conference victory over Bridgewater State University in their home-opener Saturday afternoon at Thomas Nevers Field.
In the first meeting between the progams in five years, No. 10-New England ranked Eastern (1-1-1) held a 12-3 advantage in shots, surrendered only one corner kick, and threatened several times in the first half but could not break through until the final minutes in handing Bridgwater (0-2-0) its second 1-0 loss of the season.
With the clock heading toward two minutes in a scoreless match, Pomroy sent a low cross into the box. The pass was beyond the reach of diving Bridgewater senior keeper Matt Bagley and onto the foot of a charging Warren, who tapped it past the defeated keeper.
At right: Former Eastern soccer letterwinner Jon DeCasanova (far right) -- who missed his senior season last year while undergoing treatment for aplastic anemia -- returned to Nevers Field Saturday for the first time in more than a year. DeCasanova is interviewed during the Eastern post-game show by Director of Broadcasting Nick Aconfora. (Photo by Liam Murphy).
Eastern senior midfielder Mitch Power (Douglas, MA) and freshman forward Mark Richards (Springfield, MA) each created several scoring chances for themselves, but neither break the tie. Richards found Powers with a pass with two minutes left in the first half, but Power's header was just off target. Early in the second half, Power found but Bagley was equal to the task, diving to make one of his four saves. Three minutes later, Power sent a cross to Richards, but attempt sailed wide.
Bridgewater's counterattack produced a number of second-half bids, but Eastern starting defense of seniors Mike Radlbeck (Westbrook), Carl Stensland (Storrs), sophomore Cooper D'Ambrosio (Andover) and freshman Emmanel Caicedo (Manchester) prevented the visitors from finding significant space once within the box.
Eastern freshman keeper Greg Walton (Brunswick, ME) was active in the first half, coming off his line to take away Bridgewater opportunities. In his third start, Walton was credited with his first shutout, lowering his goals-against average to 1.47.
Eastern hosts Ramapo College of New Jersey Saturday at 2 p.m.