NEW LONDON, Conn.-Senior Chris Ciampi scored on a penalty kick in the 104th minute and the Coast Guard men's soccer team fell 3-2 against WPI in a New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference contest on Saturday. With the loss, Coast Guard drops to 6-6-2 (2-2-1 NEWMAC) while WPI improves to 10-3-1 (3-2-0 NEWMAC) with the victory.
On a breakaway chance for WPI, senior Kyle Grell hauled down sophomore Chris Murray in the box which resulted in a controversial penalty kick awarded to the Engineers and a yellow card being issued. Ciampi would calmly step to the line and drill the penalty attempt past the diving out-stretched arms of Richie Burns for the game-winner.
Coast Guard got the scoring started early with a tally in the sixth minute when a loose ball found its way to the feet of sophomore Alexander Lane about 24 yards from goal. After taking one touch to settle the ball and blasted a shot past the diving arms of WPI senior goalkeeper Jeff Wong.
The Bears' lead would be short-lived as WPI would get the equalizer shortly after when freshman Matt Farrell gained possession at the top of the box after junior goalkeeper Richie Burns came out to disrupt a play. After settling the ball with a wide open net, Farrell let go on a soft shot that deflected off the leg of a Coast Guard defender to tie the game at 1-1 less than eight minutes into the match.
The deadlock wouldn't last long as Farrell would get his second goal in the 10th minute of play following and odd-man rush for the Engineers. After taking a pass from junior Eric Crevoiserat, Farrell blasted a shot from about 12 yards out past a diving Burns to give the Engineers a 2-1 advantage.
Lane would match Farrell with his second goal in the 25th minute. After a WPI foul gave the Bears a free kick even with the penalty spot about eight yards off the side of the box, Lane would take advantage. He would bend a shot from the near-impossible angle to the far upper corner over the fully-extended Wong for the equalizer.
Burns would make three saves for the game but the save of the match came in the 29th minute when a shot off the foot of junior Shane Fagan was seemingly bound for the back of the net. Headed for the upper corner on the near side, Burns took off and at full-extension snagged the ball at the last second to game the match tied.
The second half was an incredibly physical affair which saw each side whistled for a number of fouls with the match getting chippier the closer it got to full time. Coast Guard was able to dominate most of the second half possession, outshooting the Engineers 11-2 for the period and held a 21-8 advantage for the match.
There was a flurry of offensive activity in the 81st minute which saw the Bears record a pair of shots from inside the Engineer 18-yard box. After Lane's initial shot was stymied by a falling Wong, the rebound found its way to sophomore Richard Davies but his chip in attempt from 12 yards out went wide of goal and the score remained tied at 2-2.
Coast Guard was nearly able to win it with just 30 seconds to play in the first overtime period but junior Jonathan Ray had his 100th minute shot miss just inches high over the crossbar to allow the match to go into a second overtime period.
In the 103rd minute, following a tremendous through ball by Lane to junior Conor Regan, Wong was able to come up with a huge stop, coming well off his line to break up the play before Regan could get a shot off.
Head Coach Chris Parsons shared the pain of the fans after the contest, saying, "It was a difficult loss as we had the better of play in the second half. Once again, we didn't capitalize on our chances and were unable to find the goal to make the difference in the match."
From his spot on the sideline, he didn't agree with the call that issued the final penalty, "Honestly, I was disappointed with the penalty call. It was a shame a good game was decided on a penalty."
Coast Guard returns to action on Tuesday, October 22nd when they travel to take on Eastern Connecticut in a non-conference match-up. Their next home contest will be on Sunday, October 27th when they take on Maritime (N.Y.).