DURHAM, N.H. – Senior Steven Palumbo (Kingston, N.H.) of the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team recorded the game-winning goal in the 71st minute of play to lift the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team over Stony Brook at Bremner Field on Homecoming Saturday night.
The Wildcats improve their record to 8-3-0 on the year and 2-0-0 in America East play while Stony Brook falls to 5-6-0 overall and 1-2-0 in conference action.
Senior forward Ugochukwu Uche (Ann Arbor, Mich.) got the Wildcats on the board in the 27th minute of play as he recorded his third goal of the season. The play originated when freshman midfielder Erik Martel (Bedford, N.H.) ripped a shot at the Stony Brook net that was blocked at the goal line by a defender. The SBU player attempted to clear the shot, but Uche blocked the clear and the ball deflected off his body and into the back of the net.
Just three minutes later, Stony Brook's Jorge Torres blasted a shot from 20 yards out that rung the cross bar and bounced away from play. Troy Manheimer tried the level the score in the 33rd minute with a shot attempt. But Wildcat goalkeeper Travis Worra (Lancaster, Pa.) came up with the save to keep the lead. At the end of the first stanza, UNH held a 1-0 lead.
New Hampshire opened up the second half with three consecutive shots, two of which were on net. Andrew Chaput (Manchester, N.H.) and Gunnar Ericsson (Atkinson, N.H.) notched the shots on goal in the 48th and 50th minutes. In the 51st minute of play, Seawolf Keith McKenna leveled the score at 1-1. Martin Giordano played the ball to McKenna on the left side of the goal. McKenna blasted a shot past a diving Worra to hit the bottom of the crossbar and bounce over the line.
Stony Brook kept taking shot after shot trying to gain the lead, but Worra was a wall in net, making diving save after diving save. In the 71st minute, Palumbo broke the stalemate to give New Hampshire a 2-1 lead with his first goal of the season. Jesus Tudela (Zaragoza, Spain) played the ball from the right corner and found Palumbo in stride for the header goal.
SBU's Will Casey ripped a shot from about 18 yards out through traffic, aiming high on the net. Worra adjusted his body to make the save mid-air and knock the ball over the net.
Uche nearly opened up the score to 3-1 in the 89th minute as he burned the Stony Brook defender and blazed down the field. Uche faked Stony Brook goalie Carlos Villa by faking right and breaking left. Villa had cut down the angle, though, giving Uche a tough shot that hit the side of the net. After two periods of play, the Wildcats earned a 2-1 win.
Worra made seven saves in net for New Hampshire on the eight shots faced, improving his record to 6-1-0 on the year. Villa received the loss for Stony Brook as he allowed two goals on six shots faced. His record falls to 2-2-0.
The Wildcats are back in action Wednesday, Oct. 16 as they host Hartford for a night tilt. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Bremner Field.