Mitchell Downs WCSU Behind Second-Half PK
DANBURY, Conn. — Mitchell College senior Michael Berthiaume converted a second-half penalty kick to record the game's only goal as the Mariners downed the Western Connecticut State University men's soccer team 1-0 at the Westside Athletic Complex on Wednesday evening.
Berthiaume's goal was his second of the season and the third game winner of his career, and the Mariners defense kept the Colonials off the scoreboard. Sophomore goalkeeper Chad Harshbarger made his first career start and finished with six saves to record the clean sheet. Mitchell evened its record at 2-2-0 overall on the season.
After keeping the ball pinned in the Mitchell end of the field for the first 10 minutes of the match, Western allowed the visitors to take the game's first shot the first time they crossed midfield, but the 30-yard attempt sailed well over the crossbar. Western answered less than a minute later, but Vito Landolfi pushed his shot just wide left. Mitchell began to even out the time of possession, but neither team generated a serious threat on goal during the first 45 minutes. At the half, the score remained tied, 0-0.
With just over 10 minutes played in the second half, Mitchell worked the ball down the left side, deep into the Western end of the field. Sophomore Jason Kirby took a shot that was blocked by Western keeper Jack Holub, but on the rebound the Colonials were called for a foul in the box, resulting in a Mitchell penalty kick. Berthiaume stepped to the line and drilled a low shot into the left corner of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. It was his second goal of the season, and it would prove to be enough to secure the victory.
Western's two best chances to even the score came late in the game. With eight minutes remaining, Taras Zyma redirected a corner kick taken by Max Schneider, but Zyma's attempt curved around the outside of the right post, missing by inches. With two minutes remaining it was Schneider's turn to send a shot inches outside the right post when he blasted a shot off a long crossing pass that just missed the mark. After 90 minutes of play, the final score favored Mitchell, 1-0.
For the game, Western held a 23-9 advantage in shots, and an 8-0 edge in corner kicks. Holub finished with four saves in a losing effort for Western, which dropped to 1-4-1 overall on the season.
Mitchell opens conference play at home against Daniel Webster College on Saturday, September 22 at 2:30 p.m.