Ten minutes into overtime, sophomore co-aptain Petter Aasa came through in the clutch with a dramatic game-winning penalty kick, lifting the NYU men’s soccer team to a 2-1 victory against the United States Merchant Marine Academy on Sept. 23.
The win takes their record to 7-1-0 on the season.
USMMA held most of the possession for the first half. Despite being outshot 11-6 and struggling to keep the ball in the latter part of the half, NYU was still up 1-0 at the break thanks to an opportunistic fast break and a beautiful ball over the top of the defense from Aasa that was met by freshman forward Tommy Walters’ left foot on one bounce. The Violets threatened a couple more times in the half, including a last-second cross into the box that came to nothing due to a confident save from USMMA goalkeeper Cory Maier.
At the start of the second half, the game got a little choppy. USMMA protested a few foul calls while the ball hung around the midfield for the majority of the time between the 45th and 60th minute. Seeming to rally around an injury to one of their midfielders, USMMA put the heat on and created an onslaught of offensive opportunities between the 60th and 80th minute.
Aasa was all over the field, however, contesting almost every pass in the midfield area, doing all he could to stifle the Mariners attack. Still, an equalizer with nine minutes remaining in the match shocked the Violets after such resilient defense during the half.
Following the tying goal, a number of opportunities arose for both teams to win the game in the final 10 minutes of regulation, concluding with sophomore forward Reece Barton’s screaming shot that was a hair too high of the crossbar in the final minute.
The Violets got one more chance in overtime when freshman forward Nicolas Notaro drew a foul in the box, setting up Aasa for the game-winning penalty kick in the 100th minute — a fitting ending for a dramatic and hotly contested match.
“This game was special in the way that we just had our first loss of the season last game, and we needed to get the win tonight in order to keep the momentum up that we had before,” Aasa said. “We really pulled through as a team and showed that we are determined never to lose at our home field.”
Despite falling to Manhattanville College over the weekend, the Violets continue to boast an impressive record. They will look to build a new winning streak on Sept. 30 against Farmingdale State College.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Sept. 24 print edition. Email Bobby Wagner at [email protected]