WASHINGTON — Joe Iraola scored twice and Lucas Belanger recorded his first collegiate shutout as the American University men's soccer team defeated Colgate, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon to begin Patriot League play.
Iraola led the Eagles with five points and four shots on goal and nearly completed the hat-trick late in the contest. Belanger played a strong game in goal for the Eagles as he made six saves and was helped by the post and crossbar on attempts by Ethan Kutler.
Colgate finished with a 16-12 edge in shots, but American played a well-thought-out defensive plan to stop Kutler, who was recognized as the Preseason PL Forward of the Year.
Kutler recorded seven shots with two testing Belanger.
American took a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute on a penalty kick that Iraola buried to the right side of Ricky Brown.
The Eagles added two more goals in the second half, both highlight-reel quality.
The hosts iced the Raiders in the 74th minute on a well-timed cross by Panos Nakhid to Iraola for his second and team-leading fourth goal of the season.
In the 80th minute, Belanger preserved the clean sheet with a diving one-handed save on Cutler. four minutes later, Kutler hit the crossbar, but the Eagles managed to clear the zone before time eventually ran out.
American will meet crosstown rival Georgetown on Tuesday at 3 p.m.