New London, CT – After playing to a 1-1 stalemate through 110 minutes in the first round of the 2019 New England Collegiate Conference Men's Soccer Championship, fifth-seeded Elms College advanced past fourth-seeded Mitchell College by a 4-2 decision in penalty kicks on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Both teams showed up ready to battle for a spot in the conference semi-finals, and that's exactly what it would be, a battle. The game would see 38 combined fouls and seven yellow cards with both teams getting quality scoring chances throughout.
Each half in regulation would feature one goal, the Mariners opened the scoring with just three seconds remaining in the first. Mitchell held the 1-0 margin until Justin Szwajkowski (Westhampton, MA) tied the game in the 75th minute with his fourth goal of the year. His shot from close range would slip past the Mariner keeper and find the back of the net.
The game would end in a 1-1 tie and head into overtime.
Neither 10-minute overtime period yielded a golden goal, although each team had chances. Alex Egan (Watertown, MA) got a good look for the Blazers in the 103rd minute but was unable to convert, Mitchell's best chance came at the 107 mark, but slid a shot just inches past the right post.
After 120 minutes of play the two team were still tied at 1-1, it would take penalty kicks to find a winner.
After each team converted in the first round of penalty kicks, Elms goalkeeper Julian Brosi (West Newbury, MA) made a save to give the visitors the advantage. With the Blazers holding a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth round, the Mariners missed a second PK over the crossbar and gave Yanni Koci (Bristol, CT) a chance to end the contest. The first year calmly buried his ensuing attempt to send the Elms sideline into wild celebration.
Brosi finished with eight saves, his best coming on a massive PK stop.
The Blazers (6-10-4 overall) move on to face top-seeded Lesley University in the semifinals on Thursday, November 7 at 8 p.m.