Sean Murray made his debut in goal for FC Tucson Saturday night, recording four saves – including a pair of diving stops – but it wasn’t enough to overcome Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC at Severance High School.
The 23-year-old joined the club after being a four-year starter for Monmouth University in New Jersey. He spent his inaugural season in USL League One as the understudy to one of the best goalkeepers in the league, Carlos Merancio.
Luca Mastrantonio scored in stoppage time in the first half for Tucson. His second goal of the season tied the match just prior to halftime.
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Northern Colorado scored in the 11th minute. The Hailstorm went down a man in the 45th minute when their starting goalkeeper earned a red card for denial of a clear goal scoring opportunity.
Mastrantonio banged in the rebound on the set piece following the red card.
Northern Colorado turned up the pressure in the second half, finishing with a 16-14 advantage in shots and scoring the game-winner in the 76th minute.
The Hailstorm complete their first regular season in USL League One at 11-10-9 (42 points) and are currently above the playoff cutline. They will qualify for the playoffs if Charlotte Independence ties or loses to North Carolina FC next Saturday.
- “We had a really good second half of the first half. Instead of playing into two-touch and making them chase (in the second half), we were giving the ball away in bad positions. In general, the mentality with the ball movement was poor in the second half and we let them get back in the match.” – FC Tucson head coach Jon Pearlman
- “Sean Murray was tremendous in his debut and it was spoiled because our play wasn’t good enough in the second half.” – Pearlman
- “It’s another difficult one-goal loss that we let slip through our fingers. That’s been the story of the year.” – Pearlman
FC Tucson (8-14-7, 31 points) returns home to finish the season on Saturday, Oct. 15, for Fan Appreciation Night presented by Pueblo Vida (BUY TICKETS).