MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior Griffin Luczek (Lee, NH) scored his team-leading fifth goal of the year 15 minutes into the second half as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team erased an early deficit to remain unbeaten in three home games with a 2-1 non-conference victory over St. Joseph's College (L.I.) Tuesday night at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
Trailing after ten minutes, Eastern (5-1-0) gained the equalizer on the first goal of the season from sophomore Lucas Chaude (Montville) and went ahead in the 60th minute to make a winner of sophomore keeper Kyle Boutot (Tolland), who played the second half in place of senior starter Ryan Murphy (Cromwell) to earn his first win of the season in his second game off the bench this year.
Senior Justin Jensen (Wethersfield) set up both Eastern goals with a cross from the left side on Chaude's equalizer, and on a baseline helper into the box on Luczek's go-ahead goal.
With several key players seeing limited or no time due to injury, Eastern took command in the second half by outshooting St. Joseph's (2-5-0), 13-4 and collecting eight of the nine second-half corner kicks.
The Warriors held a 20-12 advantage in shots in the game and 12-4 in corner kicks in posting their second comeback win in their last two home games. Last Tuesday, Eastern scored the final two goals in a 4-3 overtime win over Trinity College.
St. Joseph's sophomore keeper Tyler Flaherty(Manorville, NY) needed to be attended to several times following collisions with Eastern players but was strong in net, making eight saves, five in the second half. Flaherty made two important saves in a span of less than three minutes late in the second half. The first came on sophomore Jake Pendl's (Cromwell) free kick from the top of the box when the keeper dove to his left to knock the ball away at the post and the second when he denied Eastern freshman Patrick Agyemang (East Hartford) with 13 minutes left when he punched out Agyemang's bullet shot at the left post.
The Golden Eagles came within inches of forcing overtime with 1:30 left when freshman Joel Ulloa's (Patchogue, NY) free kick set up a booming shot from well outside the box by sopohomore Alan Ponieman (Albertson, NY) that carried over the head of Bouton and banged off the cross bar. The ball remained in play, but Boutot finally gathered it in near the post.
The Golden Eagles struck first in the 11th minute when Flaherty's long goal kick landed on the foot of senior Shayne Johnson (Southhold, NY), who beat Murphy with a hard drive.
The Warriors were coming off their first loss of the year Saturday in a 1-0 Little East Conference loss at Keene State College.
Eastern visits Massachusetts Dartmouth Saturday at 2 p.m. in a Little East Conference match.