Worcester, Mass. – Clark University freshman reserve Pirro Tomco (Worcester, Mass.) opened his collegiate career in fine fashion, registering a goal and an assist as the host Cougars collected an impressive 4-1 win over Nichols College in non-league men's soccer action on Tuesday afternoon.
The win for the Scarlet and White snaps a three-game losing streak to the Bison – a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a season ago.
Nichols actually had a chance to go up in the early minutes of the contest when Gregory Giglio (Deer Park, N.Y.) found himself behind the defense but his point blank low shot was smothered by a sliding Connor Maguire (Dunstable, Mass.).
Clark (1-0) got on the board in the game's ninth minute when Alberto Polo-Herrera (Arlington, Va.) sent a long ball over the head of a retreating Nichols defender and found a streaking Kyle Russo (Westford, Mass.) who beat Bison keeper Alex Geas (Somers, Conn.) to the upper right corner at 8:55.
The Cougars doubled their lead 20 minutes later when Tomco found Zack Blais (Tiverton, R.I.) for his first marker of the season at 28:29.
Nichols (0-1) finally got on the board almost immediately after Blais' score when a turnover deep in the Clark zone led to Zachary Lemire (Lowell, Mass.) pouncing on a loose ball and firing a low rocket past Maguire less than a minute later.
Vinny Morra (Seatauket, N.Y.) had an excellent chance to extend the Cougars' lead in the opening moments of the second half when he got behind the defense on the left side of the cage but his attempt banged the left post.
The Scarlet and White's final goal came courtesy of a Blais cross that smacked off the legs of a sliding Bison defender into his own goal in the 62nd minute.
Nichols actually held a 13-12 edge in shots but Maguire needed to only make one save – albeit a fantastic one – to earn the win. Geas, meanwhile, stopped three shots for the Bison.
There is little turnaround time for Nichols, who opens the home portion of their schedule with Thursday's meeting with Worcester-area rival Anna Maria.
Clark is off until Friday when they visit Worcester State in the second game of the 8th annual Worcester City Men's Soccer Tournament. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m.