Worcester, Mass. - October 1, 2016 - Senior forward Luke Alvaro (Chicopee, Mass.) registered his New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC)-leading 13th goal of the season with 6:51 remaining in the contest to lead the Springfield College men's soccer team to a 3-2 victory over Clark on Saturday afternoon.
In a battle of two of the top Division III men's soccer programs in New England, Springfield College, which was ranked No. 7 in this week's National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Regional Rankings, improves to 9-0-1 (2-0-1) on the year, and continues its historic start to the 2016 season. Additionally, with the win, the Pride remains unbeaten in its last 13 games, going back to November 11, 2015.
With the loss, Clark, which was ranked No. 5 in this week's NSCAA Division III men's soccer regional rankings, suffers its first loss of the season and falls to 9-1-0 overall, and 2-1 in league play.
With two goals on Saturday afternoon, Alvaro now leads the NEWMAC with 13 goals and 28 points. Sophomore forward Christian Schneider (Douglas, Mass.) registered the other goal for the Pride, and has now found the back of the net in four-straight games.
In net, senior goalkeeper Zach Richard (Millbury, Mass.) made two saves in the win, while his counterpart Connor Maguire (Dunstable, Mass.) made six stops on the day.
Facing adversity early, Clark took a 1-0 lead when TJ Zirkman (Freehold, N.J.) drew a foul inside Springfield College's box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Cougars. The senior stepped up and ripped a shot into the upper right corner to give the hosts a one-goal lead.
Just 3:06 late, the Pride would even the score at one apiece when Schneider gained control of the ball behind Clark's back line and found the back of the net to even the score with 28:12 remaining in the half.
Coming out of the break still even at one, Springfield College took a 2-1 lead when Harrison Davis (Merrick, N.Y.) set up Alvaro for his first of the game, giving the Pride the advantage just 2:26 into the second frame.
Showing its resiliency, the Cougars battled back and evened the score at two, benefitting from a Zack Blais (Tiverton, R.I.) that was set up by Charlie Lane (Southborough, Mass.) to make it 2-2 with 37:12 remaining in the game.
With the score still even at two and under seven minutes to play, junior midfielder Danny Murphy (Old Saybrook, Conn.) carried the ball down the left side before sending a cross into the box, that was headed by Alvaro over the hands of Maguire to give the Pride a late 3-2 advantage over Clark.
Fending off a late rally from the Cougars, Springfield College was able to hold on for the one-goal win. Up next, Springfield College will return home to Brock-Affleck Field on Tuesday, October 4 when it will host Framingham State in non-conference action. The match is set to begin at 4 p.m.