NEW ROCHELLE, NY - Junior F Ansger Otto's blast from just outside the box in the 95th minute propelled the No. 19 Iona College men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over non-conference foe Army at Mazzella Field. Otto netted both Gael tallies in the victory.
After playing scoreless soccer through the first half hour, Otto struck first in the 38th minute on an assist from MF Alexander Abdalla. The Iona duo gave the Gaels a 1-0 cushion headed into the break. It was Abdalla's fourth assist of the season.
The Gaels had plenty of opportunities to add an insurance goal in the second half. Sophomore F Samuel Adjei was denied twice by Black Knight keeper Winston Boldt. The first attempt came in the 64th minute on a saved penalty shot. Less than six minutes later, Boldt got a piece of a chip shot to just push the attempt wide of the net.
The Black Knights continued pressure in the tough, physical contest after the Gaels' near misses. Fouls were 11-4 in the second half with the visitor's getting whistled the most, but it was an Iona infraction near the box gave Army its opportunity to tie the game at 1-1. Michael Kim scored with less than five minutes in regulation on a 20-yard free kick.
Having its overtime magic briefly halted in Sunday's loss at Siena, the Gaels earned their third overtime victory of the year this afternoon. Otto's rocket of a shot buried in the top right corner of the net leaving the Army keeper with little chance at a save. Adjei assisted on the goal, his seventh of the season. It was the second time Otto and Adjei connected on an overtime game winner this year and it was Otto's third game winning goal of the season. He regained the team lead with his seventh goal.
Iona netminder Borja Barbero made seven saves in his 13th win of the season, tying him with No. 1 UConn's Andre Blake for the NCAA lead in the statistic. As a team, the Gaels are tied with UConn and No. 3 Maryland with the 13 victories. Boldt made five saves in the loss.
The Gaels are back in action in MAAC play on Saturday when they face travel partner Fairfield on the road. The game proves as a pivotal late season matchup as the winner of the contest could likely be the MAAC regular season champion.