MANCHESTER, N.H. – After trailing inside the first two minutes, the Saint Anselm College men's soccer team rattled off three-straight goals in the first half and held on to upend No. 21-ranked Franklin Pierce University, 3-2, on Tuesday afternoon at Melucci Field.
The Hawks defeated their first nationally-ranked opponent since Oct. 7, 2010, a 4-3 overtime win over No. 25 Merrimack. This afternoon's win was the first regulation victory against a top-25 program since Saint Anselm knocked off eighth-ranked Southern New Hampshire on Oct. 29, 2009 by a 1-0 score.
Emmet O'Callaghan continued his strong start to the season by scoring a pair of goals and Nick Heckt added the other for Saint Anselm (2-4-1, 2-3-0 NE10), which handed Franklin Pierce (5-1-1, 3-1-1 NE10) its first loss of the season. Entering the game, the Ravens had only conceded two goals all season and were unbeaten in the last 16 meetings (14-0-2) with the Hawks.
It did not take the visitors long to open the scoring, as Noam Kolakofsky headed in a Joel Peterson cross after just 87 seconds to put Franklin Pierce on top. A little over five minutes later, O'Callaghan quickly drew Saint Anselm level, scoring on a breakaway after a turnover by the Ravens in the eighth minute.
The Hawks made it two goals in 5:07 in the 13th minute when Heckt got on the end of cross by Spencer Persson and finished inside the left post to put Saint Anselm on top, 2-1. Heckt's goal was his second of the season, while Persson earned his first collegiate point with the assist.
In the 35th minute, Jack Heintzelman sprung O'Callaghan through on goal with a long ball from the midfield and O'Callaghan grabbed his second of the game, the eventual game-winner, to give the Hawks a two-goal advantage at the half.
Franklin Pierce pulled one back in the 60th minute on Kolakofsky's second goal of the game, as Kolakofsky chested down a Cole Neily cross from the right and tucked the ball home. Hamish Cadigan nearly brought the Ravens level at 3-3 in the 71st minute but his shot hit the crossbar. Helio Meirelles Neto made two saves in the final 3:55, including one on Niklas Laudahn with 24 seconds to go, to preserve the victory.
After the shot count was even at 7-7 in the first half, Franklin Pierce outshot Saint Anselm 18-2 in the second half as shots finished 25-9 in the game. Neto made six saves to earn his first victory of the season, while Jadel Poon-Lewis was saddled with his first loss after making one save.
The Hawks travel to American International College to face the Yellow Jackets at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30.