Al-Zaibak registers nine saves for Falcons in MASCAC setback
FITCHBURG, Mass. – The Fitchburg State men's soccer team dropped a tough 1-0 decision to the Lancers of Worcester State in Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) action this evening at Elliot Field in a game with Sterling Cup implications.
With the win, Worcester State improves to 4-4-0 and 1-2-0 in MASCAC play, while Fitchburg State falls to 2-6-1 overall and 0-3-0 in conference play.
Both teams had chances to score during the first half, but net minders Alex Al-Zaibak and Jason Barrett rose to the occasion for their respective teams, keeping the game scoreless going into the break. Worcester State controlled the shot total in the first half (8-7), while Fitchburg State finished with a 6-5 margin in shots on frame
Following the break, Worcester State broke the 0-0 stalemate in the 67th minute of play as sophomore Bryan Brasil fired a shot from 30 yards out off a free kick into the upper right corner of the net for his team-leading seventh tally on the year to make the score 1-0.
With time winding down, Fitchburg State nearly knotted the score with just under a minute remaining in regulation when Al-Zaibak blasted a direct kick on goal, but Barrett made a leaping save, directing the ball over the crossbar, resulting in the 1-0 final.
Throughout the contest, Worcester State held a 20-15 margin in shots, while also holding a slim 6-5 advantage in corner kicks. In goal, Al-Zaibak made nine saves in the complete game effort for the Falcons, while Barrett stopped 11 shots for the Lancers, en-route to his third clean sheet on the year.
Senior midfielder George Slotis and Brasil led the way for the Lancers, putting seven and six shots respectively towards goal, while for the Falcons, junior Ibrahima Male and senior Nicholas Masley finished with a team-high three shots each for the Green and Gold.
Fitchburg State returns to action on Wednesday as it hosts the Bison of Nichols College for a contest starting at 7 p.m. Worcester State will travel to Rhode Island College on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. start time.
Release courtesy of Fitchburg State student journalist Kyle Prudhomme