Soccer Title Hopes End at Hands of Northeastern

Atha Kirkopoulos’ goal with three minutes to play gave Northeastern a 2-1 win over Vermont to capture the 2002 America East Men’s Soccer Championship at Parsons Field. It was the first title for the top-seeded Huskies, who will advance to the 2002 NCAA College Cup. The Catamounts were denied the their fourth championship in making their second trip to the finals in three seasons and their fifth overall. Vermont, picked seventh in the preseason coaches poll, close the season at 11-7-1, a huge improvement over a year ago when they went 4-9-2. “Our guys played real hard, especially our seniors, but it wasn’t our best day today,” commented Vermont Coach Roy Patton. “We had a lot of possession but just couldn’t get that extra break.” In the 87th minute, Kirkopoulos, the America East Offensive Player of the Year, gathered a pass from Michael Cipriano, drew goalkeeper Ryan Corry (four saves) from the crease and scored his ninth goal of the season. Kirkopoulos also earned the tournament Most Outstanding Player Award. Mike Samer and Tony Anderson had early chances to get the Catamounts on the board but Northeastern opened the scoring in the 27th minute as Joe Parrish nodded home an Kirkopoulos’ corner kick. After the break, Matt Chavez evened the score with his second goal of the season. T.J. Mead’s through-ball beat the Huskies offside trap to spring Chavez, who nudged it past Sergio Saccoccio (two saves). Vermont senior captains, Adam Wallace, Tim Parisi and Keli Helgason were selected to the all-championship team. The trio, plus Corry and Samer, played their final game for the Catamounts.-Sports Info.