CASTLETON, Vt. – Eric Maxham scored his first-career goal to cut a two-goal deficit in half, but the bid for a late comeback by the Castleton University men's soccer team fell short as the Western Connecticut State University squad earned a 2-1 decision in Little East Conference (LEC) play on Saturday.
WestConn snagged an early lead at the 2:57 mark when Mikey Sciortino directed a header into the net on a cross from Afa Reyes. Then, the visitors made it 2-0 when Franz Muhaj beat Spartan goalkeeper Alex Fernald to the left-side netting. James Wilcox claimed the assist.
After the opening barrage concluded, play settled down and Castleton (3-10-0, 1-3-0 LEC) was able to apply some pressure offensively. The Spartans finished the opening half with four shots and two on target.
Maxham's goal came at the 65:43 mark to make it a one-goal contest. The freshman took advantage of a Colonial turnover and after a touch to his left to gain separation from a defender, Maxham drilled a left-footed shot into the back of the net.
The play continued back-and-forth without many scoring opportunities. Castleton's best chance for the equalizer came in the 86th minute, when Jacob Godfrey laid into a strike that missed wide left. Both goalies were tested only once over the final 24:17.
Daniel Szabo earned his 10th win of the season after a four-save effort. Alex Fernald settled in after the sixth-minute goal and stopped the final five shots he saw on target. In total shot output, WestConn (10-3-0, 3-1-0 LEC) held a 21-10 advantage.
The Colonials also had a 4-1 edge in corner kicks. In a physical contest, WestConn was called for 14 fouls – with a pair of yellow cards, while Castleton was carded once and had 10 fouls.
The men's soccer team returns to action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. when it will host Sage in a non-conference contest.