September 6, 2010

MEN'S SOCCER DOWNS CCSU, 1-0, WINS 21ST ANNUAL NIKE FALL CLASSIC

DURHAM, N.H. – Senior goalkeeper Colin O'Donnell (Springfield, Mass.) tallied a career-high seven saves, earning his second consecutive shutout, as the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team defeated Central Connecticut State University 1-0 on Monday afternoon at Bremner Field.

With the win the Wildcats improve to 1-0-1 on the season and finish first in the 21st Annual Nike Fall Classic for the second time in the last three years. The Blue Devils drop to 1-1-0 on the season with the loss and finish second in the tournament. Vermont, who defeated Wisconsin-Milwaukee 2-1 in Monday's earlier match, earned third place, while the Panthers placed fourth.
 
For his impressive performance O'Donnell was selected as the tournament MVP, finishing with 13 saves on the weekend. Additionally he was named to the All-Tournament team, along with junior Brad Hilton (Merrimack, N.H.), senior Joe Corsello (York, Maine) and freshman Steven Palumbo (Kingston, N.H.).

Robert Palumbo (Kingston, N.H.) set up the game-winning goal for UNH on a pass from about 25 yards out to Steven Palumbo on the right flank, who shook a pair of defenders and fired the ball to the far post and into the left side of the net past a diving Anthony Occhialini at 34:16 of the first half.

The brothers tried to add to the lead in the 25th minute of the second half as Robert Palumbo attempted to get off a pass but was deflected by a Blue Devil defender, however, it was quickly scooped up by Steven Palumbo on the left flank as he shot the ball towards the far post once again, but was turned away by Occhialini.

Nearly 17 minutes later the 'Cats once again came close to finding the back of the net as Dylan George (Bangor, Maine) lofted a ball from midfield to the left flank connecting with a sprinting Robert Palumbo as he fired a shot but missed wide right.

Moments later, Steven Palumbo got a pass from midfield and took it deep into Blue Devil territory on the left flank just outside the box, but missed wide right with 7:21 remaining.

New Hampshire outshot Central Connecticut 18 to nine in the contest, including an 11 to three advantage in the second half. Robert Palumbo led the Wildcats with four shots, while Steven Palumbo and George tallied three apiece.

The Wildcats return to action on Friday, Sept. 10 when they travel to Burlington, Vt. to take part in the Smith Barney Nike Soccer Classic. New Hampshire will face Cornell on Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. and Presbyterian on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 11 a.m. 
University of New Hampshire 2010 Nike Fall Classic Champions

21st ANNUAL NIKE FALL CLASSIC

Team Champion: University of New Hampshire (1-0-1)
MVP: Colin O'Donnell, UNH
All-Tournament Team:
New Hampshire: Brad Hilton, Colin O'Donnell, Joe Corsello, Steven Palumbo
CCSU:
Richie Slaughter, Ian Smurthwaite, Robert Cavener
Vermont:
  Nick O'Neill, Yannick Lewis
Wis-Milwaukee
:  James Ashcroft, Andrew Wiedabach

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