Higa, Cirillo Lead Men's Soccer Past Xavier 4-3 In Double Overtime
Oct. 17, 2004
AMHERST, Mass. - Sophomore Richie Higa (Honolulu, Hawaii) scored two goals and freshman Greg Cirillo (Warren, R.I.) netted the game-winning golden goal as the UMass men's soccer team rallied to defeat Xavier 4-3 in double overtime on Sunday at Rudd Field.
The Minutemen jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the match, but the Musketeers battled back taking a 3-2 lead. With 16 seconds remaining in regulation, Higa tied the match to force the overtime periods.
UMass won the game off Cirillo's golden goal in the second overtime of play.
"Today was a good win for us capping off a great weekend," said head coach Sam Koch. "I'm concerned about giving up three goals and we still have things we have to work on as we make the stretch run. Cirillo did a great job for us today. He's worked hard all year and I'm glad to see him have success because he's such a good person."
UMass took the early 2-0 lead on goals by Higa and junior Oral Bullen (Bronx, N.Y.). Higa scored first at the 4:32 mark taking a pass from sophomore Ian O'Donnell (Hampden, Mass.) after an Xavier turnover at midfield placing the ball in the top inside left corner of the goal.
Bullen tacked on his goal in the 18th minute collecting a rebound off the cross bar from a Matty Lemire (Ipswich, Mass.) shot. The goal was his team-leading seventh of the season.
Xavier answered in the 20th minute when Toni Skudrzik fired a shot inside the right post from 10-yards out for his fifth goal of the year.
In the 53rd minute, Xavier tied the game 2-2 on a shot by Nick Frasher after a UMass turnover. The goal was Frasher's team-leading seventh of the season.
Xavier took a 3-2 lead in the 64th minute when a Skudrzik shot bounced off the left post to Jimmy Cummings who was positioned on the right corner of the box. Cummings placed his shot inside the right post giving Xavier the lead.
Higa scored his second goal of the game with 16 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the match at 3-3 and force the eighth overtime match of the season for UMass.
The Minutemen then won their third consecutive match when Cirillo scored after gathering the rebound off Ralph Pace's (Boston, Va.) shot which hit the right post.
UMass is now 5-1-2 on the season when playing in overtime matches. The Minutemen improve to 6-6-2 overall, 3-1-2 in the Atlantic 10, while Xavier falls to 4-9-1, 2-3-1 in the A-10.
Massachusetts will next play on Friday travelling to Fordham in the Bronx, N.Y. before heading down to Philadelphia for a match with La Salle on Sunday.