Men’s soccer shares Windjammer title with UNH

Ê

The men’s soccer team hosted the Morgan Stanley-Smith Barney Windjammer Classic this past weekend on their home turf at Virtue Field. Competing against Vermont for the championship were the Niagara University Purple Eagles, Central Connecticut State Blue Devils and the University of New Hampshire Wildcats.

     The tournament opened Friday afternoon with New Hampshire and Niagara facing off. After 110 minutes of play and two overtimes, the score was left at a tie of 0-0.

   Later that same day, the Catamounts competed against Central Connecticut for their first game of the weekend. Vermont dominated over the competition, earning a final score of 2-0.

     Both of Vermont’s goals were made during the first half of play. The initial was by sophomore Jesse Scheirer, who knocked a header in off a pass from teammate Zach Paul. Vermont’s second goal came when first-year Danny Childs knocked a long pass to senior captain D.J. Edler in the last two minutes of the first half. This was Edler’s first goal of the season.

    With a solid line of defense, the Catamounts kept the Devils out of the net and off the board for the rest of the game, ensuring the win for the men in green and yellow.

      Sunday started off with a shutout of 2-0 from New Hampshire over Central Connecticut. The win earned the Wildcats a number three spot overall in the Classic.

    The final game of the tournament took place Sunday afternoon as Niagara and Vermont faced off for the championship. The back and forth game resulted in a scoreless tie after double-overtime, with the teams sharing the title spot of the tournament.

    The first half was a back and forth battle between the two teams, neither of which was able to score. Vermont made multiple close shots on Niagara’s Brett Petricek, outshooting the Purple Eagles 6-4 in the first half.

   With 20 minutes left to go in the second half, Vermont’s Jonny Bonner took a shot on Petricek, coming close to reaching the back of the net. However, the ball was too far out and rolled just inches shy of the goal.

    Five minutes later, Vermont came the closest to scoring a goal yet. A pass from Childs to Edler looked promising, but Niagara’s Petricek made the save.

   Tensions between the teams erupted as a fight broke out among the players with just 10 minutes left in regular time. Vermont’s Salvatore Borea and Niagara’s Callum Willmott were both presented with yellow cards.

   One minute later Edler made another attempt on the goal, however, the kick went too high over the goal.

   As the clock began to count down the final two minutes, the ball remained circling around the Vermont goal. With a shot from Niagara’s Jack Welsh, the ball ricocheted off a player and skyrocketed into the air. Everyone present held their breath waiting for the ball to return back down. Upon striking the ground, the ball was cleared by Vermont’s defense and the clock struck zero.

     Throughout the first overtime each team made only one shot each, neither one successful. The game was then forced into a second overtime where fouls became all too common with yellow cards being presented to Vermont’s Edler and Joe Losier. The game finally ended with a save from Vermont keeper Conor Leland, who was later named the MVP of the tournament after racking up nine saves over the weekend.

   The Catamounts will be back on the field on Sept. 14 and Sept. 16 as they venture to Cornell and Colgate.