Men’s soccer ties, fans fill the stands

UVM men’s soccer played to a 1-1 draw against Dartmouth College Sept. 24 at Virtue Field.

Cheered on by a crowd of 1,710 fans, Athletic Director Jeff Schulman was assisted by various UVM athletes in the ribbon-cutting ceremony that officially announced the new renovations to Virtue Field.

The Catamounts started the game in attack. Four minutes after kickoff, junior defender Arthur Bacquet delivered a cross to top-scorer senior forward Bernard Yeboah, whose header was saved by senior goalkeeper James Hickok.

In the 26th minute, UVM’s second all-time top-scorer senior Brian Wright was brought down in the box, and the referee signaled for a penalty. Defender Loftur Eiriksson, a graduate student, stepped up to take it, but he struck the ball over the bar.

“It created a little bit of confusion and a little bit of deflation,” head coach Jesse Cormier said regarding the penalty miss.

That confusion was on display only three minutes after the missed penalty, as Dartmouth senior midfielder Emmanuel Arteaga’s cross was perfectly headed in the bottom corner by junior teammate, defender/ midfielder Jonathan Nierenberg. It was Nierenberg’s first goal of the season, and it gave Dartmouth the lead.

The Catamounts kept their heads high and reacted right away, but were unable to find a goal until the second half.

While the Dartmouth Big Green’s defensive line did a great job in limiting Wright and Yeboah, they were undone by junior midfielder/forward Stefan Lamanna.

Lamanna collected a pass from first-year midfielder Jon Arnar Barddal and unleashed an unstoppable shot from just outside the box, beating the goalkeeper. That was Lamanna’s third goal of the season and Barddal’s third assist, according to UVM athletics. Lamanna is now the third leading goal scorer on UVM behind Wright and Yeboah.

The last 30 minutes of the game were very balanced. Both teams battled it out in the midfield without creating too many chances.

Sophomore midfielder Mikel Kabala was an outstanding per- former for the Catamounts, protecting the back four and dictating the tempo of the game with his passes.
The 20 minutes of overtime were dominated by UVM, but the winner never came, and UVM had to eventually settle for a draw.

Lamanna was again the greatest threat for the Catamounts, as he found Yeboah with a cross inside the box. Yeboah hit the crossbar, and that would be the last real chance for either side.

“We thought we were going to nick one there at the end, whether it was the end of regulation or overtime,” Lamanna said. “But you know, you’ve got to swallow it and move on; we have a game on Tuesday”.

While Lamanna said one point was “okay,” head coach Jesse Cormier thought the team should have come away with all three points.

“It’s disappointing,” Cormier said. “We wanted to come away with a result today, and I think we have the team to do it,” he said.

He also gave credit to Dartmouth for their performance. “When we got the equalizer, I thought we were going to win the game,” Cormier said. “But they’re a resilient group and they did a good job with defending and taking care of their jobs to get a point on the road,” he said.
The Catamounts’ record is now 8-1-1.

Cormier says there is still a lot of work to be done before conference play begins.

“We’ve conceded a few too many set piece goals,” Cormier said. “We also want to do a little bit better in the final third in terms of our quality, and also, at some point, get some rest.”

Vermont is the third team in the America East Conference with at least seven wins, according to the leagues web site. The University of Massachusetts Lowell stands at 7-0-1 as non-conference play comes to a close, and the University of New Hampshire is 7-1.

The Catamounts will take on UMass Lowell Oct. 12 in Lowell, MA. They will play New Hampshire at home in their last game of conference play Nov. 2.