Firebirds Score Three Unanswered Goals to Beat Barton, 3-1

Junior forward Kevin Ortez scores the Firebirds' 3rd goal of the day on a one-vs.-one created by a great pass from Gabriel Torres.
Junior forward Kevin Ortez scores the Firebirds' 3rd goal of the day on a one-vs.-one created by a great pass from Gabriel Torres.

BOYDS, MD – After surrendering a Bulldogs goal minutes into the game, the University of the District of Columbia men's soccer team came storming back to score three unanswered goals and defeat Barton College, 3-1 in its home opener Wednesday afternoon at Maryland SoccerPlex.

Junior midfielder Raphael Pacano was the catalyst for the Firebird comeback, scoring the game-tying goal nearly 33 minutes into the first half and then assisting on the go-ahead goal just over five minutes into the second half. Freshman forward Michael Egbame scored the gamewinner, and junior forward Kevin Ortez added an insurance goal off of a through ball by sophomore midfielder Gabriel Torres in the 74th minute.

Freshman goalkeeper Luis Aguirre improved to 2-0 on the season as he stopped three of four shots faced in 72 minutes played. Among his three saves was a crucial play at the 66-minute mark when Aguirre caught and smothered in his chest a rocket of a shot by Barton's Daniel Gregory from point blank range to preserve what at the time was only a 2-1 UDC lead.

Barton (1-3) struck first nearly six minutes in on a bullet shot from the top of the box by Pol Monells, assisted by Ruben Mancio. The Bulldogs out-shot the Firebirds, 3-1 through the first 12 minutes of action, but UDC regrouped, and out-shot BC, 6-3 during the rest of the opening half and eventually scored the equalizer.

The second half belonged to the Firebirds as the hosts out-shot their guests, 8-4 and out-scored them, 2-0 en-route to victory.

Barton goalkeeper Jens Madsen Hordvik stopped three of six shots faced in a losing effort, as he was replaced by Jacob Baird for the final 12:30 of the game after suffering an injury.

UDC (3-2), winners of its last two games, will host their East Coast Conference season opener on Saturday vs. Mercy College. The game will be played at UDC Field, and kickoff is set for 1 p.m.