Bazzini's Overtime Heroics Gives Men's Soccer Thrilling Win in Home Opener

Bazzini's Overtime Heroics Gives Men's Soccer Thrilling Win in Home Opener

WORCESTER -- Franco Bazzini (San Juan, PR) blasted home the only goal of the match with 1:10 remaining in the first overtime to propel WPI to a dramatic 1-0 victory over visiting Brandeis in a non-conference men's soccer match played Wednesday evening.    

The win moves the Engineers record to 2-0 on the season while the Judges slip to 1-2-1. 

The winning goal was set up when left back Codey Battista (Northbridge, MA) made a long run down the left wing and crossed the ball towards the middle.  It was cleared away temporarily by a Brandeis defender but ended up on the foot of WPI's Walter Rodriguez (Bayamon, PR), who dribbled and the laid it off to Bazzini, who went towards goal and sent a laser into the left corner from about 20 yards out for his second mark of the season. 

The first half was well-played with WPI enjoying a 7-4 edge in shots, including all four on frame, and each team attempting a pair of corner kicks.  The Judges best bid came on a header by Michael Burch (Glastonbury, CT) that went wide in the 31st minute while WPI had a good chance just more than four minutes later but Bazzini's shot sailed high. 

In the 61st minute Brandeis' Gabriel Haithcock (Macon, CA) received a thru ball and got in on WPI goalkeeper Ryan Martin (Douglas, MA) only to be denied by the sophomore netminder.  Ten minutes later WPI's Ryan Dalton (Freehold, NJ) collected a deflected ball, took a dribble in, and blasted a shot that was saved by Judges goalkeeper Aidan Guthro (Newburyport MA). 

Martin made a pair of saves en route to his second-straight clean sheet to start the 2021 campaign. Guthro was credited with seven stops on the night.  

For the match, WPI held a 15-9 advantage in shots and a small 4-3 edge in corner kicks. 

Both teams are back in action on Saturday.  WPI entertains Endicott at noon in the second match of a six-game homestand while closes out a four-game road trip with a 2pm outing at Babson.