LOWELL, Mass. – The Merrimack men's soccer team rallied with a late penalty kick goal in regulation to tie the match at 1-1, but UMass-Lowell scored the game-winner off another penalty kick late in the first overtime session, handing the Warriors a 2-1 setback in Northeast-10 Conference action on Wednesday night.
With less than 15 minutes remaining in regulation, the Warriors (1-1-1, 0-1 NE-10) evened up the contest after senior captain Alejandro Fuchs (Caracas, Venezuela) drew a penalty in the box and promptly potted the penalty kick, but a late foul with just 1:20 remaining in the first overtime gave Bruno Bonicontro a penalty kick opportunity that propelled the River Hawks (1-0-1, 1-0 NE-10) to the sudden-death victory.
In a physical contest that saw both teams combine for 35 fouls, Majid Saeed put the home side ahead with his first goal of the season in the 34st minute. After Kyle Garvan set up the play with a pass over the top of the box, Saeed planted a perfect chip shot that beat Merrimack goalkeeper Jose Silva (Northborough, Mass.) to give the River Hawks an early advantage.
That lead would hold through the remainder of the first half and nearly 30 minutes of the second half until Fuchs scored the first penalty kick goal of the season for the Warriors at 76:18.
With the score tied at 1-1, both defenses would hold for the remainder of regulation, sending the Warriors to their second consecutive overtime match.
But the River Hawks would command the first overtime period, holding a 4-0 advantage in shot attempts before Bonicontro ended the game with a penalty kick strike.
"You never like to lose in overtime, especially on a penalty kick, but that was a hard-fought game and I'm proud of our guys," head coach Tony Martone said afterward.
UMass-Lowell held a 17-9 advantage in shot attempts, testing Silva early and often as the sophomore recorded a career-high eight saves. His counterpart, Chris Maierle, totaled one stop for the home side.
UML also earned a 7-5 edge in corner kicks over the Warriors, as well.
Next up for Merrimack is a home tilt against Molloy on Saturday, Sept. 8. Game time is set for 6 p.m. following the conclusion of the Merrimack football team's home opener against Rowan.