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Big Shot: Moriarty's Late Blast Lifts Owls Over Elms 3-2

Kieran Moriarty
Kieran Moriarty

WESTFIELD, Mass.  – Senior captain Kieran Moriarty (West Springfield, Mass.) scored the game-winner with 58 seconds remaining as Westfield State defeated Elms College 3-2 in non-conference play Wednesday night at Alumni Field.

Freshman Liam Kelley (Braintree, Mass.) got things started for Westfield as he finished off a beautiful pass from sophomore Jason Haji (Shrewsbury, Mass.) to give the Owls the 1-0 lead.

The first half was a fairly one-sided affair, as the Owls outshot Elms 11-4 and held most of the scoring chances. The Blazers did have a few consecutive chances off the foot of Anthony Romei (Enfield, Conn.) in the 40th minute, but both were denied by Westfield State goalkeeper Tyler Diotalevi (Ludlow, Mass.).

In the final two minutes of play of the first half, freshman Sinha Kunphel (South Yarmouth, Mass. / Nauset) ripped a shot that was saved by Elms goalkeeper AJ Oliveira (Beacon Falls, Conn. / Woodland), but Josh Baillargeon (Russell, Mass. / Gateway) scooped up the rebound and fed freshman Ian Jalbert (Avon, Conn.) for the tally to make it 2-0 Westfield.

But the Blazers would have an answer in the second half.

Early on in the half, junior Joseph Larkin (Williamsburg, Mass.) served a cross to senior Shaquille Robinson (New York, N.Y.) who put a beautiful header past Diotalevi to cut the lead to 2-1.

Later in the 67th minute, the Blazers would put another header in the back of the net, this time by senior Colby Macdonald (Bristol, Conn.) leveling the score at 2-2.

Although the Blazers put forth a valiant effort in the comeback, Moriarty would put an end to it in the 90th minute when he striped a ball to the upper left-hand corner of the net past the dive of Oliveira to win it for the Owls. It's the senior defender's first goal this season and third of his career.

Both teams played multiple keepers in the contest. For Westfield State, Diotalevi finished with five saves while Nick Chambers (Southwick, Mass.) had two. For Elms, Oliveira ended with 12 saves while Julian Brosi (West Newbury, Mass.) contributed one to fill in for the ailing Oliveira momentarily.

With the win, Westfield State improves to 4-4-2 overall, while Elms drops to 4-9-0.

Westfield State gets back to conference play as they visit Bridgewater State on Saturday, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

Elms gets back to conference play as well, as they visit Southern Vermont on Saturday with play kicking off at 1:00 p.m.