LEICESTER, Mass. – Falcons freshman Alexander Loyd (Kingston, Mass.) needed only 12 seconds to put Fitchburg State University on the board, making the difference in the Falcons 1-0 win over the Becker Hawks on Saturday afternoon from Alumni Field.
Loyd's goal is the fastest goal scored by a player in Fitchburg State program history and tied for the 14th fastest goal in the history of the NCAA Division III.
Additionally, the 12-second marker by Loyd is the second-fastest goal by a Massachusetts Division III institution, only trailing a four-second goal in 2010 by Clark University's Will Van Noppen.
Becker opened with the kickoff but was turned over by high pressure from the Falcons. Sophomore midfielder Sebastian Pina (Somerville, Mass.) benefitted from that pressure, allowing him to slide a pass to Loyd near the top of the box.
Loyd dribbled around a defender to create a shooting lane and fired a left-footed shot into the top left corner from 20 yards away for the game's only goal.
The Hawks had their best opportunity in the 89th minutes with a free kick chance. Senior Matthew Hillsberg (Burlington, Conn.) found sophomore Seidon Nemeth (St. Thomas, USVI) about five yards from goal.
Nemeth's flick attempt nearly went over the head of junior keeper Sebastian Jaramillo (Dracut, Mass.) but as the goalie fell to ground, the ball did not completely cross the goal line, keeping the shutout and win intact for Fitchburg State.
Becker had a pair of chances in the final 10 minutes of the first half involving Hillsberg and junior Dylan Foran (Busan, South Korea).
Hillsberg's chance came from a failed clearance but his attempt from 25 yards out flew over the goal. Foran had his chance on a counter-attack but he miss-hit his attempt on frame, making for an easy stop for the Falcons keeper.
Falcons junior Branton Abbett (Jasper, Ind.) played the opening 45 minutes for the Falcons, making three saves to claim his first win of the year and move to 1-0.
Hawks junior Sam Majewski (Warren, Mass.) made several clutch saves to keep the difference at one goal, but he falls to 1-3 this season, despite his seven saves on the afternoon.
The Falcons secure their first win and improve to 1-1-1 this year while the Hawks fall to 1-3 following the loss.
Becker hits the road next for a road match at Curry on Wednesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. The Falcons are back in action after a week off as they head to Gordon for a 6:00 p.m. match.