NEW LONDON, Conn. – The Worcester State University men's soccer team rallied back from a two-goal, second-half deficit to defeat Mitchell College by a 4-3 margin in overtime on Saturday afternoon at Alumni Field.
Mitch Myrthil netted the game-winning goal with 11 seconds to play in the first overtime period. The goal capped a remarkable comeback that saw the Lancers even the game with a pair of scores in the final 8:04 of regulation. Mitchell had taken command prior with three straight goals in the second half to go up 3-1.
Etjon Rapi finished with two goals and assisted on the game winner to lead Worcester State while Bryan Brasil tallied the equalizer to force extra time. Andrew Storton, William Ferguson and Jose Roman III each scored goals for the Mariners.
Rapi gave the Lancers an early 1-0 lead with a score in the fourth minute of the contest. Ryan Almeida centered a ball from the right side that Rapi finished off for the only goal of the first half.
Mitchell tied the game in the 64th minute on a pretty display of passing. Quinn Outerbridge started the sequence by beating his defender in the middle of the field and slipping a pass to his left to Christian Urena inside the box. Urena forwarded the ball across the box to Storton, who was left unchecked and deposited the goal.
Urena served up another assist in the 70th minute as the Mariners took their first lead. He dribbled along the left end line and threaded a pass through the box that found Ferguson all alone. Ferguson had time to settle the pass and unleash a laser into the back of the net to put Mitchell on top.
The Mariners made it a two-goal cushion in the 82nd minute when Roman was awarded a penalty kick after being taken down in the box. He placed his attempt in the lower-left corner to make it 3-1 with 8:48 to go in regulation.
Worcester State answered back almost immediately as Rapi cut into the deficit just 44 seconds later. He lined up near the right post as the Lancers put a ball into the box off a restart from just over midfield. The service ball was played to the left post and deflected across the goal by a defender. The ball bounced once before Rapi, with his back to the goal, scissor-kicked it home to pull the Lancers to within one.
The Mariners tried to kill the clock in the final minutes but couldn't hold on in the final seconds. Worcester State's final crack at the equalizer began with another restart—this one just outside the box—with 20 seconds to go. The ball was served into a scrum in front of the net, and the first of three shots was saved by goalie Seth Strader. The second was blocked by a defender, the result of which was a loose ball at the top of the six-yard box. Myrthil then headed the ball to the left post, where Brasil came diving in for a header of his own that slipped into the left corner.
It didn't appear that the first overtime would yield a golden goal until the late stages. A foul in the final 30 seconds of the stanza gave Mitchell a chance at a restart near the right end line. The service ball ended up being intercepted by goalkeeper Jason Barrett, who then rushed to the top of the box and delivered a long pass into the midfield. Rapi caught up to the ball and slid to knock it forward to the streaking Myrthil, who had a step on his defender and a one-on-one look against Strader. Myrthil slid his shot inside the near post to end the game and give Worcester State its first win of the young season.
Both teams were even at 15 shots apiece, although Mitchell held a 10-4 edge in corner kicks. Barrett finished with eight saves while Strader made three.
Mitchell (0-2-1 overall) will next host SUNY Old Westbury on Saturday, September 16 at 2 p.m. Worcester State (1-1-0 overall) returns to action at Johnston State College on Wednesday, September 13 at 2 p.m.