Men's College Soccer
Rider University 2, Canisius College 1 (2 ot)
BUFFALO, NY- After beginning the season 0-8, the Broncs are in first place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. "I think we're reaping the benefits of playing that tough schedule," said Rider head coach Charlie Inverso. "That non-conference schedule prepared us for this game tonight."
Sophomore Matt Veltri (Mays Landing/Oakcrest) had a goal and an assist to lead Rider to a MAAC victory at Canisius Friday night. "What a great comeback," said Inverso. "A well-deserved win."
It was the first career goal and first career assist for Veltri.
Veltri scored in the 102nd minute for the game winner. "Tyler (freshman Tyler Morris of Montclair, NJ/Montclair) crossed a beautiful ball and the keeper came out," Inverso said. "Veltri beat him to the ball and put it into the corner."
The victory was the second consecutive overtime win for Rider (2-8, 1-0 MAAC). "It was a really gutty effort," said Inverso. "No disrespect to Canisius, who is a very good team, but I thought we were the better team tonight."
Canisius (7-2-2, 0-1 MAAC), who received votes in the national rankings last week, out-shot Rider 23-11 but just 6-5 in shots on goal. "They had some good chances," Inverso said, "but from 18 to 18 I thought we were much better."
Canisius came into the game on a two-game winning streak, having won seven of the previous eight games.
Rider senior Dave Benavidez (Peoria, Ill/Richwoods) scored with just three minutes left in regulation to tie the score at 1-1. "We hung around and got a late goal," Inverso said. "Veltri took a shot and Dave got to it and it went in. We caught a little bit of a break to tie it with three minutes left."
Golden Griff standout Galvin Falconer scored in the fifth minute of play to give Canisius a 1-0 lead. It was his eighth goal of the season already. "It was a heart-breaking goal that we gave up early in the game when we misplayed a ball in the box and their guy (Falconer) just pounced on it and tapped it into an open net," Inverso said.
"That could have really destroyed us," Inverso said, "because we don't score a lot of goals. But we hung in there."
Rider senior goalkeeper Jason Giordano (Massapequa Park, N.Y./Massapequa) made five saves.
Rider lost 2-1 in overtime to Canisius last year in the final home game of the season but came back to defeat the Golden Griffins in the first round of the MAAC Tournament.
Rider and Canisius have now met 18 times with Rider winning nine. The last time Rider defeated Canisius in a regular season game was in 2007.
Rider stays in Western New York to play Niagara Sunday afternoon.