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Firebirds Drop 2-1 Overtime Decision to Holy Family in Season Opener

Kevin Claure-Guzman scored the Firebirds' lone goal in a 2-1 overtime loss in their season opener.
Kevin Claure-Guzman scored the Firebirds' lone goal in a 2-1 overtime loss in their season opener.

BOYDS, MD – The University of the District of Columbia men's soccer team dropped its season opener to Holy Family University, 2-1 in overtime on Friday afternoon in the 2nd game of the UDC Invitational at Maryland SoccerPlex.

The Firebirds (0-1) out-shot the Tigers 21-12 and controlled possession for the majority of the game, but it was Holy Family that struck first after 80 scoreless minutes by both teams. UDC freshman midfielder Gabriel Torres was very active offensively in his collegiate debut, firing four of his game-high six shots in the first half. Holy Family goalkeeper Mark Pohl was up to the task, however, making six of his eight saves before halftime. That first stanza came to an end with a scoreless tie, and it was another 25 minutes into the second half before a goal was scored.

Midfielder Matthew Tracey broke the scoreless tie in the 80th minute as he blasted a shot past reserve goalkeeper Joao Brusamolin and scored off of an assist by Justin Hiltwine.

The Firebirds answered less than 30 seconds later, as sophomore forward Kevin Claure-Guzman scored his first career goal off of an assist by senior defender Nelson Moreno to force a 1-1 tie.

Neither team would score during the remainder of regulation, and the game went to overtime.

Nearly seven-and-a-half minutes into the overtime session, UDC was whistled for a foul just outside the penalty box. Connor Stackhouse took the indirect kick, driving a low kick into the box that found the foot of Christopher Tracey. One-timing the pass, Tracey fired a shot into the back of the net for the game-winner.

Starting senior goalkeeper Ever Guevera Alvarez stopped the only two shots he faced in the first half before he was relieved by Brusamolin. The freshman reserve keeper from Brazil took the loss as he made three saves but allowed two goals.

Pohl earned the win for Holy Family (1-0), a regional opponent from the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC), as he made eight saves and allowed just one goal.

In other UDC Invitational action today, American International College defeated Barton College, 3-2 in overtime in the first game of the day. Barton College will square off against Holy Family on Sunday at 12 PM, and AIC and UDC will follow at 2:30 PM. Both games will be played at Field 2 of the Maryland SoccerPlex.