COLCHESTER, Vt. - Senior Adrián Díaz (Santiago de Compostela, Spain/Vermont Academy) and sophomore Jacob von Giebel (Lambertville, N.J./South Hunterdon Regional) both scored twice, and the Saint Michael's College men's soccer team used a four-goal second half to pull away for a 5-0 victory over Bentley University on Saturday at Duffy Field. The Purple Knights improved to 2-5-1 overall and 1-5 in the Northeast-10 Conference in their largest victory in 31 all-time meetings with the Falcons, who are 0-8-1 and 0-5-1.
Saint Michael's, which had lost its past three games by one goal apiece, moved to 5-0-1 in its last six contests with Bentley behind the first multi-goal games of Díaz and von Giebel's respective careers. First-year Eamonn Mahoney (Springfield, Mass./Renaissance Charter School) recorded his first collegiate goal, and classmate Leland Gazo (Colchester, Vt./Rice Memorial/Bradley) registered four saves for the initial win and shutout of his career. Each team fired off 12 shots during the contest, as junior Harrison Rapant had two stops for the visitors.
Less than a minute into the game, senior Eric Spangler ran onto a pass in the middle of the Saint Michael's box but one-touched the ball over the net, the first of a handful of solid chances for the visitors, who posted an 8-2 advantage in shots during the first period. Saint Michael's cashed in on its first shot of the game, as senior Jackson Steele (Swampscott, Mass./Cushing Academy) sent a cross from the left flank into middle of the box for von Giebel, who headed home his first goal into the right corner at 21:48.
Bentley pressured the Purple Knight net late in the period but was unable to break through. During a corner kick set in the 43rd minute, junior Charlie Lopez found himself alone with Gazo and twice sent point-blank shots on target near the left post, but the netminder stifled both, with the second leading to another corner kick. Senior Luc Batawi capped that sequence by heading the ball just beyond the upper right corner of the net.
Von Giebel doubled the lead 5:06 after halftime. Sophomore Wesley Lord (Manchester, Vt./Burr and Burton Academy) sent a cross that Rapant slightly touched, but the pass left a vacated net into which von Giebel tapped the ball home. Sophomore Andres Rivas (Caracas, Venezuela/Palmer Trinity School) also assisted. Von Giebel's bid at a hat trick was denied by the keeper at 52:23, and a defensive miscue allowed two Falcons to go in alone on Gazo in the 60th minute, but neither could settle the ball for a shot.
Díaz followed by putting home a pair of free kicks 10:15 apart. At 62:42, Díaz drilled the bottom left netting before roofing the left corner for the second marker. Saint Michael's completed the scoring in the 85th minute. First-year Alex Matthey (Fort Myers, Fla./Estero) sent a ball toward the end line, where Rapant and a teammate converged. Before either could make a play, first-year Ivan Sebuufu-Bazitya (Worcester, Mass./Worcester Academy) slipped his foot to the ball, knocking it across the vacated goal mouth to Mahoney, who hit the empty net.
The Purple Knights host regionally-ranked Southern Connecticut State University on Wednesday at 3 p.m. The Owls are seventh in this week's United Soccer Coaches East Region poll.