LORETTO, PA- The Red Flash erupted for five second-half goals to knock off the Sacred Heart Pioneers 6-1 on Sunday in the Northeast Conference Opener for Saint Francis.
Mario Mastrangelo (Venetia, Pa/Peters Township) netted a hat trick and Troye Kiernan (Pittsburgh, Pa./Upper St. Clair) added two goals and an assist for the Flash, who quickly answered a late first-half goal by the Pioneers.
Saint Francis controlled much of the first half, especially in the midfield, but couldn't find the back of the net early. Kiernan had a shot blocked off a corner kick while Conner Rezende (Davie, Fla. /University School at Nova Southeastern) had one shot stopped by Tucker Hackett, the SHU keeper and sailed two more high. Sacred Heart thought to have scored off a free kick as Murry Cockburn sailed a free kick past keeper Andrew Garcia (Sicklerville, N.J./Timber Creek Regional). Francis de Vries (Christchurch, New Zealand/Cashmere) saved it off the back line and managed to clear it out of harm's way for a corner kick.
Kiernan broke through in the 40th minute, knocking down a cross from Conner Rezende (Davie, Fla. /University School at Nova Southeastern) and beating Hackett on a low-left shot from about 18 yards out. Moments later, the Pioneers had a free kick in the final seconds of the half. The kick was put into traffic and Garcia initially batted the ball away, but Giancarlo Maurello steadied it and found Dylan Santos for the equalizer with just 15 seconds remaining in the half. It would be 1-1 at the break.
Just five minutes into the second half, Mario Mastrangelo (Venetia, Pa/Peters Township) took advantage of a Pioneer turnover and broke in one-on-one with Hackett. The freshman buried a shot past the sprawled out keeper for what proved to be the game-winning goal. Minutes later, off a Pioneer foul, Rezende, Kiernan and Mastrangelo all had shots stopped by Hackett. But Kiernan's shot went back to Mastrangelo who put it past the now out-of-position keeper to make it 3-1.
Four minutes after the third SFU goal, the Flash struck again. de Vries put a beautiful through ball to Kiernan who broke up the middle of the SHU defense and put it past Hackett for the Flash's third goal in under 10 minutes. History repeated itself in the 65th minute as Pablo Medina (Monterrey, Mexico/IMG Academies) found Mastrangelo again and the freshman notched the hat trick off the senior's beautiful pass. Mastrangelo netted the hat trick in less than 15 minutes of action to make it a 5-1 contest. Late in the match, the SFU bench added the sixth goal as an Andrew Hajec (Corry, Pa./Corry) shot was stopped, as was an attempt by Andres Vega (Managua, Nicaragua/Colegio Centro America). However, senior Anthony Lozupone (Rockville, Md./Our Lady of Good Counsel) collected the rebound and scored his first goal of the season.
The Red Flash out shot the Pioneers 25-7 for the match including 15-3 in shots on goal and 16-1 in the second half. Anthony Garcia got the win and was credited with one save in his 70 minutes of work. Marcus Rojas (Fremont, Calif./Bellarmine College Preparatory) relieved Garcia in the second half, but did not face a shot.
The win improves SFU to 6-3-3 on the season and the all important 1-0 in Northeast Conference play. The Red Flash head to Brooklyn next weekend to take on SFBK and LIU. The Terriers are up first, match time on Friday night is set for 7pm.