Purple Knights yield only 11th-minute marker to No. 6 UMass Lowell in NE-10 setback
COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College men's soccer team yielded only an 11th-minute marker to the sixth-ranked team in the nation on Wednesday, falling by a 1-0 count to the undefeated University of Massachusetts at Lowell, 1-0, during a Northeast-10 Conference contest at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights yielded one goal or less for the seventh time this year while slipping to 6-3-2 overall and 2-2-2 in the league, while the River Hawks, who are ranked by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), are 9-0-1 and 8-0.
Senior Logan Kingman (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) posted seven saves for the hosts, who matched the visitors in shots during the second half, 8-8, while being outshot just 20-14 for the game.
Senior Bruno Bonicontro (Marlboro, Mass./Marlboro) netted the game's lone goal for UMass Lowell, his league-high-tying eighth of the season, while junior Christopher Maierle (Wantagh, N.Y./Friends Academy) made eight saves, including on a second-half penalty kick.
River Hawk junior Kevin Zapata's (East Bridgewater, Mass./Colegio La Salle de Envigado [Massasoit CC]) second-minute bid at hitting the upper right corner from 25 yards out was denied by a leaping Kingman before Bonicontro got his team on the scoreboard at 10:15, picking up a loose ball near midfield and taking on a handful of defenders before pulling up from 15 yards and hitting the lower right portion of the net.
The Purple Knights fired three shots on the UMass Lowell net during a four-minute span soon after the goal, but Maierle denied each. One came off the foot of senior Dana DiPinto (Woburn, Mass./Tilton School), whose shot from the right side of the box necessitated Maierle to dive to his right and punch the ball away.
In the 36th minute, an outstretched Kingman dove to catch a cross with a River Hawk attacker waiting to receive the pass out front. Purple Knight junior Anthony Stanley (La Ceiba, Honduras/Saint Johnsbury Academy) looked to knot the contest in the 37th minute, deking two defenders to get within 10 yards of the net, but his shot was batted down by Maierle.
Bonicontro nearly extended the UMass Lowell lead in the 60th minute, chesting down a pass out front but sending a point-blank shot wide of the right post while falling. Saint Michael's sophomore back Gonzalo Mengotti (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) turned in his own chance a minute later, heading a free-kick pass high.
The Purple Knights' best opportunity to get on the board came in the 65th minute, as a blocked shot led to a penalty kick, which Maierle dove to his left to snuff out, and Stanley had a rebound attempt off the save denied by the goalkeeper. In the 67th minute, senior Ian Rowe (Waterville, Maine/Waterville Senior) waited for a pass to settle at the right side of the box, giving Maierle enough time to reposition and prepare to stop his ensuing close-range bid.
Kingman made two diving saves, including one off a River Hawk shot from the doorstep, in the 72nd minute before Rowe's header in the 73rd minute proved to be the final Saint Michael's shot of the contest. Kingman turned aside a Bonicontro header in the 85th minute to keep the margin one goal and allow his team to remain in the game.
The Purple Knights head to American International College on Sunday for a 1 p.m. game.