Cats triumph

In front of a crowd of 711 on a windy and brisk Saturday afternoon, the University of Vermont men’s soccer team knocked off the Maine Black Bears 3-2 in double overtime on a goal by junior Tyler Hasman. The win keeps Vermont atop the America East Conference with just one conference game remaining. The Catamounts look to capture home field advantage throughout the conference tournament. Vermont came out slow and sloppy in the beginning of the first half and it quickly cost them. A turnover by the back line led to a foul and a free kick for Maine just 6 minutes into the game. Maine’s Cooper Friend bent the long free kick into the upper left corner of the goal to give the Black Bears a 1-0 lead. “I think we learned quickly that just by looking at Maine’s record doesn’t mean they are just going to roll over for us, it takes work to be successful,” head coach Jesse Cormier said. The Catamounts broke through on a corner kick that was redirected by freshman Nick Mead and buried in the back of the net by sophomore Connor Tobin. Tobin’s first career goal sent the game to halftime with the teams deadlocked at 1-1. In the second half, Maine again stunned the Catamounts with an early goal. Jimmy Velas sent a nice ball to Dimitri Anastasiou, who beat the goalie Tom Critz who tried to cut the ball off but could not keep it from trickling over the line. Critz soon found himself in a similar situation with Velas, but this time was able to make a great save to keep Vermont within a goal. The sophomore had 3 key stops on the afternoon. At the 67:17 mark Vermont, tied up the game. Sophomore Jordan Crasilneck tucked a free kick just inside the right post, evening the score at 2-2. The goal was Jordan’s team leading sixth of the season. The Catamounts had one last chance in regulation. Geibel crossed the ball to Crasilneck who had his shot blocked, but almost put the rebound in with a diving header. Regulation ended with the teams knotted up at 2-2. Vermont struck with the winning goal in the 103rd minute in the second overtime when Jordan Crasilneck sent a free kick into the box where junior Tyler Hasman was waiting and headed the ball into the upper-left hand corner of the net to give the Catamounts a 3-2 win and 3 crucial points in the conference. The goal was Hasman’s fifth of the season and his second game-winner. UVM is now 3-1-1 in overtime games this season. The experience may help them in the conference tournament. “We need to take care of business earlier, and we had the chance to do so,” Cormier said. “However, it is a good quality to be able to rise up late in a game like this.” The Catamounts now sit at 8-5-3 (5-1-1), which puts them in sole possession of first place in the conference. Vermont controls its own destiny with one conference game remaining against second place Binghamton, who, along with Albany, sit a mere 1 point out of first. With the loss, Maine drops to 0-15-0 (0-6-0). Coach Jesse Cormier did not seem too worried whether his team captured home field advantage for the postseason. “It would be nice to get home field, but we are comfortable at home or on the road,” Cormier said after the game. “Home field won’t make or break us in the postseason, it will be our preparation and execution that will tell how far we go.” Vermont takes on Binghamton on Oct. 21. With a win, Vermont will capture the conference regular season title for the first time since 1989. The conference tournament begins on Oct. 28.