WESTFIELD, Mass. – In a tight defensive battle, the Castleton University men's soccer team fell on the road at Westfield State, 1-0, in non-conference play on Tuesday.
Jason Haji netted the lone goal for the Owls in the eighth minute. Spartan keeper Alex Fernald made the initial save on a low drive from Paul Soucy with a dive to his left, but Haji came sprinting in to put in the rebound.
The contest was back-and-forth throughout as the Spartans held a 18-14 edge in shots including a 10-6 margin in shots on goal, but was unable to find the equalizer.
Owl goalie Tyler Diotlevi made 10 saves to keep Castleton off the board. Most of the action in the Owl end came in the second half. Castleton's best chance to score came from Ben Stewart, who volleyed a hard strike on frame in the closing minutes but Diotlevi stood in its way.
Drama struck in the final minute of the contest when the Spartans were awarded a free kick from just outside the penalty area. The ensuing indirect kick sailed over the frame. Then, Castleton received a free kick from 35 yards out with Fernald pulled, but the bid for a header came up short.
Fernald finished with five saves in the effort for the Spartans, while Jack Kingdon had game-high nine shots, including five on target.
Castleton (3-9-0) returns to action for Homecoming Weekend as it will host Western Connecticut State in Little East Conference (LEC) play at 6:30 p.m. at Dave Wolk Stadium.