SCRANTON, Pa. -- Freshman Anderson Italien scored a pair of goals, one in each half to help lift the Lackawanna College men's soccer team to an exciting and drama filled 4-3 win over visiting Manor College Saturday afternoon at Scranton Prep's Loyola Field.
Head coach Rudy Roediger started a season-high, nine freshman in his starting XI – Juan Bautista, Tyler St Louis, Vincent Whitmore, Anton Paul, Nick Anthony, Bruno Moreira, Leonardo Amaral, Joan Peguero and Anderson Italien. He brought in another pair from the bench, Lea Bibyo Musafiri and Orlin Garcia as well.
"Great to get the win," stated head coach Rudy Roediger. "It was a thrilling encounter for the neutrals. Obviously, we don't want to give up three goals, but the team commitment to getting the result is undeniable. It was great to get that decisive goal by Fitz, a returner, when we needed it most."
Lackawanna (2-4-0, 1-2-0 Region XIX) took control early when Italien collected a misplayed ball and lashed home his first collegiate goal within the opening two minutes.
Manor (6-2-1, 0-2-0 Region XIX) quickly responded with a goal in the ninth minute when Kelvin Siem netted his team leading sixth of the season. After Manor equalized, it was Vincent Whitmore making his third start of the season who came up big and made a stretch save to keep the score level. Despite chances for both sides, the teams would enter the break 1-1.
Justin Dillion broke the deadlock for the visitors when freshman defender directed a header past Whitmore to give the visitors the lead with just over a half an hour to play.
Italien pulled the score even with his second goal of the day, when the 6-foot-6 attacker created space before unleasing a powerful strike from a distance in the 71st minute.
The thrilling encounter would continue when Siem put the visitors back into the lead with his second goal of the match moments later as he darted his way past the Falcons defense and beat Whitmore to make it 3-2 in the 72nd minute.
The Falcons continued to look for the tying goal. It was Lea Bibyo Musafiri who nodded home the equalizer on a pointed pass from Tyler St Louis with 11 minutes to play. For the freshman, it marked his team leading third goal of his debut collegiate season.
As time wound towards what looked to be overtime, it was a pair of sophomores who connected when Montell James provided his team-leading fifth assist of the season when he found Fitz Jolly on a free kick. Jolly drove home the game winning goal with five minutes to play.
WHAT IT MEANS
With the win, the Falcons climb out of the basement of the region, into the fourth position in the Region XIX standings behind three teams earning recognition in the National Junior College Men's Soccer Coaches Poll, Essex CC, Mercer CC and Harcum College. With its second loss in as many region matches, Manor drops into sixth place behind Rowan College at Burlington County who have yet to play a Region XIX match.
Lackawanna returns to the road with a non-Region matchup on Sunday, Sept. 23 when the Blue & White travel to Williamsport, Pa., to face Lycoming College reserves.