WESTFIELD, Mass. – Senior Legend Mu'min (Springfield, Mass. / Central) scored the overtime game-winner in the 101st minute of a conference thriller to lift Westfield State over Mass. Maritime 1-0 Saturday afternoon at Alumni field.
The Owls controlled most of the play in the first half, with big chances coming from Ryan Morais (Uxbridge, Mass.) and Mu'min, but both were denied by Buccaneer goalkeeper Connor Murphy (Mashpee, Mass.).
The lone chance for Mass. Maritime came in the 22nd minute off of a nice feed from Brendan Gawron (Braintree, Mass.) right to the foot of Jake Pforr (Weymouth, Mass.), who redirected the ball inches above the cross-bar for a near miss.
Things got a bit chippy near the end of the half when a few too many bumps and shoves resulted in a yellow card for the Buccaneers' Stephen Froio (Auburn, Mass.)
The physical play continued in the second half as only five minutes in, another yellow card was given to the Buccaneers, this time by way of senior midfielder Brendan Gawron. Later in the half, Gawron was given a Red Card and ejected from the game. The cards continued as Westfield State senior captain Kieran Moriarty (West Springfield, Mass.) received a yellow card following a foul in the 59th minute. Moments later Owls' assistant coach Cam Ritter was ejected following a disagreement with an official.
Amidst the chaos, Josh Baillargeon (Russell, Mass. / Gateway) had a chance for Westfield State when he was in all alone on Murphy, but the play was broken up by the sliding goalkeeper to keep the score level at 0-0.
The Buccaneers gave a good bid for the lead in the 80th minute off of a rebound chance for Justin Burns (Walpole, Mass), but the shot was denied by Owls goalkeeper Tyler Diotalevi (Ludlow, Mass.).
The two teams exchanged chances early in the overtime periods until finally the Owls broke the tie for good when Mu'min squeaked a shot by Murphy off a feed from sophomore Luis Nieves (Agawam, Mass.) to give the Owls the victory.
Westfield State outshot Mass. Maritime in total shots 24-19 in the contest. Diotalevi had 12 saves for the Owls, while Murphy ended up with 10 for the Buccaneers.
Mass. Maritime is back in action a week from today visiting conference rival Framingham State, with kickoff scheduled for 4:00 p.m.
Westfield State gets back to work Wednesday as they host local opponent Elms College at Alumni Field, with action beginning at 7:00 p.m.