Springfield, Mass. - October 6, 2010 - Freshman Ryan Malone sent the game into overtime with a goal in the final 4:14 of regulation and then tallied the game-winner 37 seconds into the second overtime to propel the Springfield College men's soccer team to a thrilling 4-3 win over Framingham State in non-conference action on Wednesday.
The game was played in constant rain and blustery conditions throughout. Springfield has now improved to 9-3 this season with the win, while the Rams drop their third-straight contest to fall to 7-4.
The Rams nearly struck first at the 13:30 mark but a tremendous save by Chris Walton kept the visitors at bay. After a corner kick by Scott Faria, Jason Silva directed his header into the lower right corner, only to have Walton dive to his left and get his finger tips on the ball to keep the game scoreless.
Springfield finally broke through in the 39th minute on Eric Stalsburg’s fifth goal of the season. Danny Amato broke free from the Ram defense at the halfway line and delivered a through ball to Stalsburg. Framingham State goalie Greg Halle ran onto the ball with the attempt to clear it, only to have the ball deflect off both Stalsburg and a Ram defender. The ball then bounced directly to Stalsburg on top of the 18-yard box, and the junior striker made no mistake as the slotted home the empty net strike to give the hosts a 1-0 advantage.
Just 2:39 later, Springfield struck again to take a 2-0 lead heading into the half. Malone started the play as he sent a ball down the left flank to Michael Fowler. Fowler then carried the ball to the endline before delivering a centering pass along on the ground through the box. Alex Reilly was able to free himself from the Ram defense and slammed home the marker from 10 yards out for the Pride's second tally in as many minutes.
With 33:19 left in regulation, the Rams finally got on the board after a strike by Silva. Peter Maranto slipped a pass inside the box and Silva powered a right-footed blast into the lower right corner past a diving Walton to make it a one-goal contest.
Framingham State time the contest up just over five minutes later after a brilliant individual effort by Faria. After a miscue in the Springfield defensive third allowed Faria to recover the ball 30 yards away from the net, the senior captain dribbled through five Springfield defenders before flicking home a shot into the far left corner.
Will Menter appeared to have completed the rally for the visitors as he scored off a free kick with 5:49 remaining in regulation. Menter pounded a free kick on the ground from 25 yards out that deflected off the Springfield wall. The Rams then caught a bit of luck as the ball redirected off the wall and snuck just inside the right post as Walton was frozen on his line, not expecting the redirection.
However, Springfield wasn’t finished as Malone produced a bit of magic just 1:35 later to send the game into extra time. With the ball bouncing just outside the box, David Chessen delivered a service into the box, which John Mankus headed across the six yard box. Fowler then in turn sent the ball back towards the goal from the left side, which Malone muscled home from inside the six to send the crowd and bench into a frenzy.
Framingham State has the best chance in the first overtime period as Ronaldo Vieira sent a ball to a streaking Faria. Faria battled alongside Springfield’s Sean Nunan on the counter attack for 20 yards before Faria sent a shot towards the right corner which Walton dove to save and force a corner kick.
Malone buried his team-leading seventh goal of the season 37 seconds into the second overtime period to lift the the hosts to victory. Nunan sent a through ball from the right side, which Malone beat his man and the goalkeeper to, before slipping in a goal from 18 yards out to complete the exciting contest.
It was an extremely physical and chippy contest as the teams combined for 52 fouls, including 29 by Springfield. Each team tallied 11 shots in the contest, with Walton making five saves and Halle recording four stops.
Springfield returns to conference action on Saturday afternoon in a critical matchup at Clark University. Kick off is scheduled for 1:00 pm.