DURHAM, N.H. — Despite holding the lead for the majority of the contest, a pair of late goals by Iona College was just enough to hold off the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team, as the Wildcats fell 2-1 to the Gaels Thursday evening at Bremner Field.
New Hampshire struck first in the contest when Jeffrey Turner (Blandon, Pa.) threw a ball into the box to Ugochukwu Uche (Ann Arbor, Mich.) who headed the ball across the box to David Schlatter (Marlton, N.J.), who got a piece of it and headed it into the top of the net at 26:20 of the first half.
Despite Iona outshooting UNH 9-3 in the frame, the Wildcats controlled play from that point on, limiting the visitor's scoring chances and halting their offensive attack, as they entered the second half with a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcat offense came out in full force early in the second half when Jordan Thomas (Mohnton, Pa.) played a ball into the box to Schlatter, who headed it toward the right side of the net, but it was quickly slapped away by Iona goalkeeper Borja Barbero in the 36th minute.
About a minute later, Uche centered a ball to Gustav Nilsson (Pixbo, Sweden) from the right flank to the top of the box and he fired a laser shot right at Barbero, ending any chance of UNH increasing its lead.
Both squads picked up their defensive efforts over the course of the next 10 minutes, until Franklin Castellanos set up Samuel Adjei with a ball on the left side of the box and he fired in a shot into the right side of the net past a diving Travis Worra (Lancaster, Pa.) to even the score at 1-1 with 26:26 remaining in regulation.
The Gaels wouldn't wait long to strike again, as Castellanos once again got the offense in motion, playing a ball upfield to Ignacio Maganto, who took it and drove through a herd of defenders, faking out Worra with a spin move, as he put a foot on the ball and drove it into the right side of the net at 66:09 to give the visitors a 2-1 advantage they would not relinquish.
Worra and Barbero both finished with five saves apiece. Iona outshot UNH 20-10 in the contest, including an 11-7 advantage in the second stanza.
The Wildcats return to action Sunday, Sept. 4 (1 p.m.) when they take on Michigan State at Lewis Fields.