Cats comeback falls short

The final game of the 2006 Smith Barney Nike Classic on Sept. 10 turned out to be the most exciting.On a brisk afternoon in front of a crowd of 1,212 the University of Vermont Catamounts lost a riveting game at the hands of the 23rd ranked Central Connecticut State Blue Devils 4-3.After a slow start the Catamounts showed good passing and great speed to pressure the Central Coonecticut defense during the first half. While Vermont was ale to penetrate deep into the Blue Devils’ defense, they could not seem to get the last touch through.Fortunes changed at the 20:47 mark when sophomore forward Jordan Crasilneck made a long run down the left side of the field knifing through CCSU defenders, cut into the 18 yard box and put a blistering bender into the upper corner of the goal, giving UVM a 1-0 lead. The goal was Crasilneck second of the season.UVM looked set to carry the lead into the second half, but that all changed when, with 36 seconds left in the half, chaos errupted in front of the Catamount net. The melee began after a Central Connecticut corner kick. The ball was headed down and looked to be destined for the back of the net until Vermont junior Danny Broughan instinctively stuck out his hand, knocked the ball out of the way but drawing an automatic red card.CCSU’s Alex Harrison put the ensuing penalty kick past Vermont sophomore goalkeeper Tom Critz, tying the score and snatching away any momentum the Catamounts hoped to carry into halftime.At the beginning of the second half Central Connecticut took advantage of the man advantage, pressuring the usually solid back line of Vermont into making uncharacteristic mistakes.”We had discipline issues being down a man, and needed to be more organized defensively,” coach Jesse Cormier said.The tournament’s offensive MVP, CCSU’s Yan Klukowski put the Blue Devils ahead 2-1 off of a UVM turnover in the 49h minute.With the Catamounts crippled, playing with 10 men and scrambling to tie the game, Klukowski easily set up Harrison for two more goals, giving him a hat trick and Central Connecticut a 4-1 lead with just 25 minutes remaining.Vermont looked to turn the tide five minutes later when senior captain Corey Bronner worked a give-and-go with junior midfielder Justin Geibel and then sliped a shot into the top corner of the goal to make the score 4-2, igniting the Catamount comeback.UVM kept pressing and shooting, firing off a total of 17 shots during the game, and finally broke through again in the 85th minute. Sophomore Lee Stephane Kouadio weaved through Central Connecticut’s defense down the right side, passed the ball over to junior forward Tyler Hasman, who flicked the ball downfield, where freshman Marty Galvin was waiting to bury the ball into the back of the net. The goal was Galvin’s first of his career and cut the lead to 4-3 with just five minutes remaining. But that is where the scoring would end.The lose droped UVM to 2-2-2 as they head out to the UMASS Soccer Classic, while the 23rd ranked Blue Devils now stand at 3-1-1.”I was proud how the team showed heart to get back in the game, and we learned a lot this weekend, that we can take each day and improve,” said Cormier of his team’s comeback effort.Earlier in the day Cornell defeated New Hampshire 1-0, creating a four-way tie in the tournament with all the teams finishing 1-1 on the weekend. Vermont was awarded the title based on the tiebreaker of most goals scored in the tournament, netting six in just two games. The title is the third straight for the Cats and their seventh in the 16 years of hosting the Classic. “We need to put this behind us, but learn from it,” Jordan Crasilneck said. “We need to come out how we finished.” Crasilneck was named to the All-Tournament team along with freshman defender Nick Mead, while Captain Corey Bronner captured the Defensive MVP award.