Zapata's Strikes Helps Cougars To 2-2 Draw With Pride

Zapata's Strikes Helps Cougars To 2-2 Draw With Pride

Worcester, Mass. – Oscar Zapata (Lima, Peru) scored his second goal of the contest in the 87th minute as Clark University rallied to force overtime and an eventual 2-2 tie with visiting Springfield College in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's soccer action on Saturday afternoon at a rainy Granger Soccer Complex.

The result leaves both teams in a tie for third in the league standing at 1-1-1.

Springfield (4-3-5) came out as the aggressor and nearly took a lead in the 17th minute when Tyler Allen (Southbridge, Mass.) got inside the six yard box and chipped a shot over the head of Cougar netminder Connor Maguire (Dunstable, Mass.) but his attempt banged off the crossbar.

Moments later Curtis Bolduc (South Windsor, Conn.) saw his shot from right outside the top of the box sail just over the crossbar.

The Pride finally broke through off of a corner kick when Ryan Elster (Sutton, Mass.) served in a ball that Ryan Malone (Chicopee, Mass.) headed home for a 1-0 lead at 39:23.

A little more than ten minutes into the second stanza Springfield doubled its lead when Luke Alvaro (Chicopee, Mass.) had his shot saved by Maguire, but Bolduc was there on the doorstep to bang home the rebound for a 2-0 Pride advantage.

That two goal lead was short lived, however, as Zapata scored off an excellent cross from Alberto Polo-Herrera (Arlington, Va.) that went across the goal mouth from right to left and found Zapata open on the far left post for his second marker of the year.

Things stayed that way until late in the period when Polo-Herrera let fly a corner kick that found Zapata who had his shot turned aside by Billy Schmid (Wethersfield, Conn.). The rebound came to Vinny Morra (East Setuaket, N.Y.) and he was able to set up Zapata for the equalizing goal at 86:27.

In the extra sessions, Springfield outshot the Cougars a combined 12-2 but neither team could get on the board.

The Pride had a pair of fantastic scoring chances in extra time. The first came in the first minute of the first overtime when Nick Kobel (Webster, Mass.) saw his header move past the right post. Later in the period Joseph LaBella (Wethersfield, Conn.) dribbled through the midfield and fired a rocket from outside the box but that attempt went just left.

Clark's best scoring opportunity in extra session came in the final moments when Zapata had a shot from inside the box in traffic but that try went just over the crossbar.

Springfield unleashed 34 shots on the afternoon compared to just 19 for the Scarlet and White but both teams had ten shots on goal.

Each goalkeeper was strong in between the pipes with both Maguire and Schmid registering eight stops each.

Both teams return to action next week with the Pride playing host to Framingham State on Tuesday and Clark traveling to Mount Ida on Wednesday.

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