Cortez's Game-Winner Lifts Men's Soccer Past Susquehanna in Double Overtime

The University of Scranton men's soccer team's 10 seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony on Saturday. © Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /
The University of Scranton men's soccer team's 10 seniors were honored in a pregame ceremony on Saturday. © Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /
Mike Cortez  Jon Roberts  Jake Hodlofski 


SCRANTON, Pa. – Sophomore Mike Cortez (Secaucus, N.J./Saint Peter's Prep) scored the game-winner with 5:15 left in the second overtime and The University of Scranton men's soccer team (10-4-2, 5-1 Landmark) picked up a 1-0 overtime win over the Susquehanna River Hawks (5-10, 1-5 Landmark) on a sunny Saturday afternoon at Weiss Field in Scranton.

Senior Jon Roberts (Whitehouse Station, N.J./Immaculata-Somerville) slid a pass to Cortez on the right side of the box and he was able to beat River Hawks goalie Matt Ellingworth with a shot to give the Royals the victory.

Scranton is now unbeaten in its last five matches and sits in sole possession of second place in the Landmark Conference Standings at 5-1 with one match remaining in the regular season.

The Royals had a chance right out of the gate as senior Riley Smith (New Hope, Pa./New Hope Solebury.  ripped a shot from the top of the box that bounced off the crossbar in the fourth minute. Roberts and Smith both had a couple of chances in the opening 45 minutes, but the game remained scoreless. Sophomore goalie Jake Hodlofski (West Chester, Pa./Malvern Prep) turned away a couple of Susquehanna attempts in the late stages of the first half including on consecutive attempts from Michael Morrelli and Kevin Ayoso in the 40th minute. Head coach Matt Pivirotto's squad held a slight 8-6 shot advantage in the first half.

Senior Michael Donnelly (Mahopac, N.Y./John F. Kennedy) had a couple of chances in the second half for Scranton, but both attempts were denied by Ellingworth. The River Hawks nearly took the lead in the 65th minute, but a shot from Aly Kenawy rolled just wide of the net to keep the game scoreless.

The two sides combined for four shots in the first overtime period and Hodlofski made an incredible diving save on a shot from the River Hawks' Chris Naiman in the 97th minute as the attempt nearly rolled into the net before it was turned away by the Royals goalie.

Scranton held a 17-11 edge in shots led by four from Roberts, while Smith and freshman Christian Arcos tallied three apiece. Hodlofski had eight saves for the Royals and Ellingworth recorded 11 saves for Susquehanna.

The game was a physical affair that featured a combined 22 fouls and six yellow cards.

Prior to the game, the University of Scranton men's soccer team honored a 10-man senior class for their contributions to the program over the last three plus seasons. The seniors are Roberts, Smith, Blake Hammert and Justin Hammert (Archbald, Pa./Scranton Prep), Christian Savino (Downingtown, Pa./Malvern Prep), Patrick Prinner (Wilton, Conn./Wilton), Nick Kapelewski (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury), Sotiri Econopuly (Franklin Lakes, N.J./Bergen Catholic, Anthony Cassano (Leonia, N.J.) and Alex Dadourian (Summit, N.J.)

The Royals close out the regular season at Juniata on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 1 p.m.