GORHAM, Maine – Sophomore Benjamin Musese (Auburn, Maine/Lewiston) headed in the equalizer off of a well placed cross from classmate Jonata Mbongo (Portland, Maine/Deering) with 37 seconds left in regulation to pull the University of Southern Maine Huskies even with the United States Coast Guard Academy Bears in dramatic fashion in the final game of the 2018 USM Men's Soccer Invitational. Both teams battled back and forth through two overtime periods and settled for a 1-1 draw at the conclusion of 120 minutes of soccer.
With the tie, Southern Maine is 0-1-1 to start the season. Coast Guard is also 0-1-1 through its first two games.
Sophomore Noa Pagatpatan (Hilton Head Island, N.C./Georgia Military) put the Bears up early rocketing in a goal in the 13th minute on a nifty back-heel and crossing combination from sophomore Daniel Taglianetti (Wallingford, Conn./The Loomis Chaffee) and senior Quintin Parsons (Niantic, Conn./East Lympe). With a 1-0 lead in hand, Coast Guard held the Huskies in check as neither team produced many solid scoring chances over the course of the game.
However, with time winding down, Southern Maine shifted its lineup and moved starting goalkeeper senior Charlie Mull (Portland, Maine/Cheverus) to center back, and Mbongo to a more central role. With a build from the back, Mbongo served the ball to the left side of the field and Musese found his way to the ball and tucked the ball in under the cross bar for his first goal of the season.
In the overtime periods both team's goalkeepers turned in strong performances. Southern Maine senior Simon Hulbert (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island) made a game-saving finger tip dive in the 99th minute turning away a shot from CGA senior Alex Hall (Merritt Island, Fla./Melbourne). Bears' senior William Bragaw (Niantic, Conn./East Lyme) made a big save late in the second off of a long range shot from Mbongo.
Hulbert earned the draw making three saves in 35:07 of action. Mull, who started the game in goal before moving to the field, made one save in 74:53. Bragaw played the full 120 for the Bears and made five saves. Both teams were evenly matched statistically with Southern Maine holding a slight lead in shots, 11-10, and corner kicks, 2-1.
Southern Maine hits the road for its next contest and will travel to Maine Maritime on Wednesday (6:00 p.m.) for a non-conference game.
NOTES: 2018 USM Men's Soccer Invitational All-Tournament Team
Thomas College:Benjamin Vigue, Jon Dutka, Justin Bell, and DJ Nicholas (MVP)
Westfield:Tyler Diotalevi, Ryan Morais, Troy Chaput
Coast Guard:Garrett Magill, Noa Pagatpatan, Daniel Taglianetti