by Benny Benton
BOYDS, Md. – Barton College freshman Pol Monells scored his first collegiate goal less than six minutes into BC's match with University of District of Columbia on Wednesday, but the Bulldogs could not hold that lead in suffering a 3-1 road loss at the Maryland SoccerPlex.
The Firebirds tied the match in the 33rd minute, then added a pair of second-half strikes to improve to 3-2 on the season. The Bulldogs fell to 1-3 with the loss.
Monells, a resident of Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain, pushed a shot from the top of the box past UDC keeper Luis Aguirre to give Barton the quick 1-0 lead just 5:38 into the contest. Fellow freshman Ruben Mancio assisted on the goal, his first of the year.
District of Columbia tied the match with just under 12 minutes to go in the first period when Raphael Pacano charged into the box to finish off a cross from Ryan Dagley.
The two sides completed the half almost even in shots, as UDC enjoyed a slim 7-6 edge in attempts. However, the Firebirds doubled up the Bulldogs, 8-4, in the decisive second period.
UDC scored the go-ahead goal just 5:14 into the final frame on a strike from inside the box by Michael Egbame. The score was set up by a long pass from Jason Mayorga to Pacano, who crossed the ball in to Egbame.
District of Columbia added an insurance goal in the 74th minute on a breakaway by Kevin Ortez after a through ball by Gabriel Torres.
Both Aguirre and Barton keeper Jens Madsen Hordvik collected three saves in the match. Aquirre's were credited on Barton shots by Tolly Beatson in the 31st minute, Mancio in the 55th minute, and Daniel Gregory in the 66th minute. Beatson also hit the post on BC's final attempt with 4:05 to play.
"I liked the fight we displayed today," Barton head coach Ian McMichael said afterwards. "Give District of Columbia credit, but we were quite unlucky in certain moments of the game that impacted the result. Our best football is ahead of us, so we'll roll up our sleeves and continue to work to get better."
The contest was Barton's fourth consecutive road match. The Bulldogs will finally make their home debut on Saturday when they open Conference Carolinas play with a 4 p.m. contest against Limestone College.