Men’s soccer team bounces back after home defeat


Locria Courtright, Assistant Sports Editor

The past and present of UVM men’s soccer collided on a chilly Friday night, as UVM welcomed former head coach Jesse Cormier– now with the Florida Gulf Coast University Eagles– at Virtue Field.

The past prevailed when the Eagles defeated the Catamounts 4-0 in the Peter Baldwin Memorial Classic.

Florida Gulf Coast opened the scoring early. In the sixth minute, sophomore goalkeeper Aron Runarsson made a save off of Dylan Sacramento, but Robert Ferrer put home the rebound to put the Eagles in front 1-0.

FGCU found their second goal in the 21st minute when Preston Kilwien scored off a corner, beating Runarsson to his left and doubling the Eagles’ lead to 2-0.

Just 21 seconds later, FGCU added a third, as a cross by Sacramento was buried past Runarsson by Dennis Zapata, pushing it to 3-0 Eagles.

The Catamounts did not go down without a fight. In the 39th minute, junior forward Geo Alves looked like he’d scored a goal for the Catamounts, slotting the ball past Eagles goalkeeper Connor Gavigan. However, Alves’s goal was ruled offside, and the Eagles took their 3-0 lead into halftime.

FGCU found a fourth early in the second half, as Kilwien scored his second goal of the match from a corner to extend the lead to 4-0 in the 51st minute.

The Cats had another chance to get on the board, as they were rewarded a penalty kick a minute after FGCU’s fourth goal. However, sophomore midfielder Jón Arnar Barðdal’s penalty was saved by Gavigan.

The Catamounts poured on the pressure late, outshooting the Eagles 11-3 in the second half and earning six second half corners to FGCU’s one, but were unable to get by Gavigan.

The Cats earned 11 corner kicks to FGCU’s three, but while the Eagles scored twice from their limited set piece opportunities, the Catamounts couldn’t muster one from their ample chances.

Head coach Rob Dow put some of the Catamounts’ struggles down to their weakness on set pieces.

“They scored two goals off their three corners,” Dow said. “We need to be better in that area, bottom line.”

Dow said the team needs to bounce back quickly, starting with Sunday’s match against the Niagara Purple Eagles.

“We’ve got to lick our wounds and bandage where we were scarred,” Dow said. “We need to be students of the game and come out much quicker than we did tonight [against Niagara].”

Dow did get a response from his team on Sunday, as UVM defeated Niagara 2-0 at Virtue Field behind a Purple Eagles own goal and Geo Alves’s fourth goal of the season. Redshirt first-year goalkeeper Alex Popovich kept a shutout on his UVM debut.

Dow said that the victory was important towards building character, following the defeat just 48 hours ago, according to UVM athletics.

Junior forward Geo Alves, first-year midfielder Dadi Baerings Halldorsson and junior midfielder Mikel Kabala were named in the 2017 Peter Baldwin Memorial Classic All-Tournament Team.

The Catamounts are 2-2 so far this season. They host Yale Sept. 9 at Virtue Field in the Rally Against Cancer game.