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Hartford Athletic get first win in team history in U.S. Open Cup victory

Hartford Athletic’s Nicky Downs (21), a midfielder from Lakeville and Yale University, battles for the ball in Tuesday night’s U.S. Open Cup game in Hartford. (Photo courtesy Hartford Athletic)

HARTFORD, May 14 – After dropping a one-goal decision to Memphis 901 Friday night at Rentschler Field, head coach Jimmy Nielsen wanted to see his Hartford Athletic soccer team play with some passion and some urgency.

For just the second time this year in 11 games, Hartford scored first and they took a two-goal lead in the first half to win their first game in club history with a 2-1 victory over New York Cosmos B in the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Tuesday night at the University of Hartford.

Hartford (1-9-1, 0-9-1 USL Championship) still gave up 19 shots but goalie Jacob Lissek was up to the task.

Hartford Athletic played their best offensive half of the season in the first 45 minutes. Harry Swartz netted the opener with a great touch and turn off a low cross from Giuseppe Gentile. Swartz went near post past an outstretched Cosmo goalie Santiago Castano for the first goal of the night.

Just 9 minutes later, Mads Jørgensen scored on a free kick from just outside the top of the box. Some beautiful spin and a helpful bounce helped Mads find the back of the net and Hartford took a 2-0 lead into halftime.

On the other side of the break, the Cosmos continued to carry the play and did well to halve the deficit through Emmanuele Sembroni in the 57th minute. The Cosmos play in the NPSL, a league where the teams have a mix of professionals and college students.

The Hartford Athletic advance in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and will either play Memphis 901 or the New York Red Bull U-23 team next week on May 29. Hartford Athletic will be on the road in either case.

The Athletic continue their regular season play in the USL when they travel to Washington to face Loudoun United on Sunday at 2 p.m.

HARTFORD ATHLETIC STARTING LINEUP

Jacob Lissek; Raymond Lee (c), Sem de Wit, Nikolaj Lyngo, Kyle Curinga; Nicky Downs, Harry Swartz (Jonathan Brown 70′), Giuseppe Gentile, Mads Jørgensen; Wojciech Wojcik (Sebastian Dalgaard 80′), Jose Angulo (Mac Steeves 83′).

NEW YORK COSMOS B STARTING LINEUP

Santiago Castaño; Matthew Lewis, Ansi Agolli, Kevin Venegas (Pedro Galvão 85′), Emmanuele Sembroni; Junior Burgos, Daniel Szetela (c), Ricardo Bocanegra, Joseph Sanchez (Charlie Le Dula 54′); Bljedi Bardic, Aaron Dennis (Aly Hassan 85′).

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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