Springfield, Mass. - October 28, 2009 - Eric Stalsburg scored the game-winning goal with just 1.3 seconds remaining to lift the Springfield College men's soccer team to a stunning 5-4 victory over Western Connecticut State on Wednesday evening. Springfield tallied three goals in the final 14:30 minutes en route to the dramatic, come-from-behind victory.
The dramatic win lifts Springfield to 5-11-1 on the season and snaps its five-game losing skid. Western Connecticut State drops to 4-12 on the season.
Making a final push with the score tied at four-all and the final seconds ticking away, Stalsburg took a feed from Scott Donofrio and collected the ball 10 yards out. He then blasted a right-footed strike off the right post and then the cross bar before the ball found the back of the net, sending the Springfield faithful into an uproar.
After trailing 4-2 with under 20 minutes to play, the Pride put forth a furious offensive push, using a pair of penalty kicks to tie the game at four. James Ashcroft made it a 4-3 game as he slotted home a penalty kick into the bottom right corner in the 77th minute. Aled Hollingworth then converted on another penalty kick in the 87th minute as his strike found the exact same corner, setting up Stalsburg's dramatics.
Western Connecticut had a chance to put the game away as they were awarded a penalty kick with 10:39 remaining, but Daniel Sanchez pushed his attempt off the right post.
Western Connecticut broke into the scoring column first with a goal 12 minutes into the game. Senior Frank Rizio took a lead pass from midfielder Daniel DaSilva and was able to put it in the back of the net.
Springfield evened the score with 14 minutes left to play in the opening half when Hollingworth took the ball off a deflection in the box and scored for the Pride’s first tally.
The Colonials took the lead back in the 37th minute. Ryan Rose tallied a goal for the visitors which was assisted by Steve Carniero, giving the visitors a 2-1 lead at the half.
Springfield refused to go away as it tied up the game in the 54th minute. Off a Cody Kaczetow corner kick, Scott Donofrio elevated above the defense and headed home the equalizing goal.
A pair of quick strikes appeared to put the Colonials in the lead for good as it netted two goals in just over two minutes. The first of the two goals came off the foot Rizio, who received a powerful cross from Bruno Mendonca for his second goal of the match. DaSilva then recorded a goal of his own for the visitors just 2:05 later to give them a 4-2 advantage.
Each team finished with 21 shots in the game, while the Pride held a 10-6 advantage in corner kicks. Chris Walton made several spectacular saves for Springfield, especially down the stretch, and finished with six saves between the pipes. Keith Guillette finished with two saves for the Colonials.
Springfield wraps up its regular season on Saturday afternoon when it hosts Coast Guard at 3:30 pm.