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August 31, 2012
Hartford outlasts Fordham 1-0

BRONX, N.Y. – A late first half goal off the boot of rookie striker Javoni Simms coupled with a solid defensive effort in the second half led the University of Hartford to a 1-0 victory on Friday evening.

The triumph caps off a three-game, season-opening road stretch for Hartford (1-2-0), which kicks-off the home portion of its 2012 campaign on Monday evening with a Labor Day derby against the neighboring Central Connecticut State Blue Devils at Al-Marzook Field (7:00 p.m.).

The Rams, who drop to 1-2-0 on the season, tested the rookie keeper Viltsu Tuumi and the Hawks’ backline early and often in the first stanza. Six shots were blasted through Hartford’s area, one of which nicked the crossbar, forcing Tuumi to make two of his three saves during that stretch.

The difference maker in the match came with less than two minutes remaining before the halftime intermission. After receiving a pass from sophomore Omar Tall Simms converted on the Hawks’ sixth shot of the evening to put the visiting squad ahead, 1-0, in the 44th minute. From just 12-yards out, Simms corralled the feed from Tall and blasted a shot through the Rams’ defense, reaching the upper left corner of the net for his second tally of the season.

The Hawks came close to netting an insurance goal on more than one occasion. Hartford’s best opportunity came in the 68th minute when midfielder James Stamopoulos sent a lateral pass from the near side to a streaking Anthony Santaga). From just outside the box, Santaga, a junior striker, unloaded a shot but his attempt sailed just wide, right of the goal post.

Ten minutes later, Kevin Lewis booted a long shot from more than 25 yards away from the goal. The senior midfielder put too much power on the ball however as it missed its mark high, sailing 12 inches over the crossbar.

Fordham keeper Sean Brailey made a pair of saves on the evening while Tuumi, with the assistance of the Hawks’ back line, earned both his first career victory and shutout between the posts.

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