BEVERLY, Mass. – The Endicott men's soccer team hosted Skidmore on Saturday afternoon for a consolation match in the annual Gull Invitational. Today was the first meeting between the two out of conference squads. After a scoreless first half both sides found the back of the net while Skidmore's, freshman, Augustine Okoye (Abuja, Nigeria) scored the game winner for the Thoroughbreds with three minutes remaining in the game to secure the 2-1 victory. Endicott junior Zach Rizzo (Redding, Conn.) posted the lone goal for the Gulls to mark the first of the season.
Endicott falls to 0-2-0 (0-0-0) while Skidmore improves to 1-1-0 (0-0-0, Liberty League). The Blue and Green will play next Wednesday, September 3rd as they travel to NESCAC foe Bowdoin for a 5:00 p.m. match while the Thoroughbreds see action next on Friday, September 5th as they face SUNY Potsdam at 6:00 p.m.
The first half was a battle as Skidmore outshot the Gulls 7-2 while working the strong Endicott defense led by senior captain Jed Magnusson (Kingston, N.H.) and newcomers Carter Ocko (Danvers, Mass.) and Ryan Cohane (Easton, Conn.). Right off the whistle Skidmore was on the attack posting numerous shots towards senior goalkeeper Alex Jorge (Billerica, Mass.). 18 minutes into the half, senior Adam Beek (Kingston, Jamaica) ripped a hard shot at goal but Jorge was able to jump and make the diving save to keep it a scoreless game.
In the final minutes of the half junior striker, Abdulla Al Khalifa (Riffa, Bahrain) ripped the lone shot on goal in the half for the Gulls forcing junior goalkeeper Eli Kisselbach (Stamford, Conn.) to make the stop to end the half at a stalemate.
The second half showed a strong group of Gulls who took 10 shots to their two in the first half. The Thoroughbreds also picked up their game forcing 11 shots. At the 56th minute Skidmore drew first as senior Brock Bakewell (Tuscon, Ariz) received a nice cross from freshman Kevin Santos (Framingham, Mass.) to take the one goal lead.
The Blue and Green would not back down as Rizzo answered back less than 10 minutes later as he made a run down the right side where senior Stephen Joyce (Rome, N.Y.) was able to slip the ball through two defenders to create the scoring play. Rizzo's goal was the first for the Gulls this season and his third of his career.
After 22 minutes of numerous scoring opportunities by both sides the Thoroughbreds sealed the victory after Okoye and Beek made a combo play down the right side to break through two Endicott defenders to beat Jorge on the left post.
The Gulls pushed for the remaining three minutes of regulation to tie the game back up but they could not capitalize.
Endicott will look to compete with a strong NESCAC squad next week in Bowdoin for the first meeting between the two squads in program history.