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Late rally leads men's soccer past Utica

Hamilton College's Leo Nizzi ’14 scored the game-winning goal with just 54.4 seconds remaining and rallied the Continentals to a 2-1 non-conference victory against Utica College (7-9-0 overall) at Hamilton's Love Field on Tuesday. 

Box score

The win stretched the Continentals’ home unbeaten streak to eight games. Hamilton improved to 33-2-0 all-time against Utica. One of the Pioneers' victories in the series came last year.

Nizzi scored his first goal of the season on a shot from just inside the box after he received a through ball from Conor Bradley ‘16. Bradley picked up his first collegiate point with the assist.

The Continentals (4-5-3) withstood an eventful final 40 seconds that featured a Pioneer corner kick and the loss of the game clock. Hamilton goalkeeper Harris Pollack ’17 came off the goal line to corral the corner kick taken by Brandon Horton ’17 with 34 seconds left. At nearly the same time the power was lost on the scoreboard, which stayed frozen at 00:40. With game time being kept on the field by the officials, the Continentals held Utica without another scoring opportunity.

The Pioneers took an early lead on a breakaway goal by Jonathon Peterson ’14 25:11 into the first half. Peterson took a long run down the right side and beat Pollack, who came out to play the ball, for his third goal of the season.

Hamilton, which posted a 19-5 advantage in shots, picked up the equalizer in the 60th minute. Trevor Bobola ’15 crossed the ball from the right side to Bayard Geeslin ’16, who headed it inside the far post for his first career goal.

The Continentals allowed only one other shot on goal. Peterson made a similar run less than a minute after the goal but Pollack made the save. On the year, Hamilton has given up fewer than four shots on goal per game.

David Abdou ‘15, who played the second half in net for Utica, finished with one save – a stellar effort on a high, hard shot taken by Dan Kraynak ’15 in the 74th minute. Anthony Caruso ’14 wasn’t credited with a save while playing the opening half, but preserved the Pioneers' lead by withstanding a flurry of corner kicks. The Continentals attempted five (all by Nizzi) in the final eight minutes of the half. Caruso leaped high to tip one over the cross bar in the 37th minute.

Hamilton plays its final home game of the regular season on Saturday, Oct. 26, against Tufts University at 2:30 p.m. in NESCAC competition. The Pioneers travel to Alfred University for a 1 p.m. game Saturday.

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