WALTHAM, Mass. – Adam Watkins (McConnells, S.C./Clover) and Julian Stewart (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxboro) scored goals close to both sides of halftime, and keeper David Price (Needham, Mass./Beaver Country) made a big late save to see the Bentley soccer team past AIC 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
The win is the third in the last four games for the Falcons, who continue their climb up the NE10 standings. They moved within two points of 8th placed AIC with two matches remaining. Bentley is now 3-6-2 in the NE10 for 11 points.
Watkins scored just 23 seconds before halftime. After a foul on AIC, Bentley was awarded a free kick from about 35 yards out. Freshman left back Connor Mote (Lisle, Ill./Benet Academy) delivered the kick into the box, which Watkins pounced on and shot into the back of the net from close range to give the Falcons a 1-0 advantage.
Bentley held the Yellow Jackets to zero shots in the opening 45 minutes.
Not long after the second half whistle, Stewart notched his fifth goal of the season to put Bentley up 2-0. Senior Sean Sullivan (Suffield, Conn./Suffield) played a dangerous ball into the box, and Stewart fired home from a tough angle just 17 seconds into the 2nd half. That was his 4th goal in five matches.
AIC would cut the deficit in half with a goal from Jovanni Garcia in the 70th minute, after he got on the end of a pass into the box by Josip Validzic and scored from eight yards.
With just over two minutes left and Bentley still leading 2-1, Price made a tremendous diving save that almost certainly prevented AIC's tying goal. Price dove to his left to deny a shot by Conor Hicks from about 10 yards to preserve Bentley's lead.
The Falcons then closed out the final two minutes and came away with the big three points. They'll go for another win on Tuesday when they host Saint Anselm for a 3:00 pm kickoff.