The Berkeley College New York men's soccer team picked up a victory in its season-opening game Saturday afternoon, as the Knights showed tremendous grit and determination in coming from behind to defeat the Falcons of Fisher College by a score of 3-1 in a match played at Hormel Stadium in Medford, MA.
The script couldn't have been more opposite from a year ago for the Knights who also opened their 2016 season against the Falcons and relinquished a late 4-2 advantage before falling in overtime. Berkeley College Head Coach Stavros Zomopoulos remembers that game quite well, and is proud of his team for showing resilience down the stretch in Saturday's win.
"We suffered a tough loss here a year ago in our opener, but this season we truly did a great job of battling back and making crucial plays in the later stages of the match," Zomopoulos said. "Down 1-0 with less than eight minutes remaining, our guys never lost focus, continued to push, and it ultimately paid off for us in a big way. We will enjoy this one tonight and tomorrow before heading back to New York to get ready for Webb Institute on Wednesday."
Following a scoreless first half, Fisher College recorded the first goal of the afternoon just 1:22 into the second stanza when Gabriel Marquez buried a penalty kick past Knights netminder Ronnie Roman to give his team a 1-0 advantage.
That score would remain the same until the 82nd minute, when the Knights' offense would come alive in a big way. Newcomer Omario Rosen would tie the game with 7:08 remaining, as he pushed a ball past Falcons goalkeeper Filipe Barandiaran to knot the game 1-1. 2:41 seconds later, Berkeley College would grab the lead for good when Jovani Guzman received a pass from Marcos Leon and blasted the ball into the net to put the Knights up 2-1. Berkeley added an insurance goal with 1:37 left when Charles scored (from Rosen) to up the Knights' edge to 3-1.
It was an all-around team effort for the Knights, who got big contributions from the newcomers in this one. All three goal scorers for Berkeley College are in their first year with the program. Another first-year Knight – goaltender Ronnie Roman – played outstanding in his first match for Berkeley, as he allowed just the one goal on the penalty kick while stopping seven shots.
Berkeley out-shot Fisher College by a total of 24-19. The Falcons committed 19 fouls compared to 14 for the Knights.
Despite the loss, Falcons netminder Felipe Barandiaran stopped 11 shots.
The Knights will now return to New York to prepare for its Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opener which takes place this Wednesday, as Berkeley College will take to the road to battle Webb Institute in Glen Cove, NY. That contest is scheduled to begin at 4:00pm.