UVM men’s soccer defeats NJIT in America East semifinal


Eric Scharf

Left to right: junior Noah Egan, senior Garret Lillie and graduate student Yves Borie cheer with open arms after beating New Jersey Institute of Technology 3-2 in the America East semifinal at Virtue Field on Nov. 10.

Austin Chen, Cynic Sports Reporter

No. 2 UVM men’s soccer defeated No. 6 New Jersey Institute of Technology 3-2 in the America East semifinal at Virtue Field on Nov. 10.

The Catamounts built a 3-0 lead after 78 minutes thanks to goals from graduate midfielder Yves Borie, senior midfielder Joe Morrison and sophomore midfielder Jacob Vitale. Two NJIT goals in the final five minutes set up a tense conclusion, but Vermont held on for the victory.

With the win, Vermont advances to its second straight America East championship game and tenth in program history, according to UVM athletics.

The Catamounts were in control for the first 60 minutes of the match, accumulating 13 shots while allowing just four.

They controlled possession through two-way midfield play from Borie and senior midfielder Alex Nagy.

Borie opened the scoring in the 39th minute. After junior defender Noah Egan’s header hit the post, Borie reacted first and powered the ball past Highlanders goalkeeper Samuel Reisgys.

In the 61st minute, Morrison doubled UVM’s lead when he scored off a rebound after an initial save from Reisgys.

Vitale earned Vermont’s third goal in the 78th minute. On a breakaway, Vitale entered the box and fired a right-footed shot past Reisgys.

With just five minutes remaining, NJIT scored twice in quick succession. In the 86th minute, forward Alejandro Rabell’s free-kick found the head of Asembo Augo, who scored to put the Highlanders on the board.

In the 88th, a long shot from midfielder Matt Moran forced a save from graduate goalkeeper Nate Silveira. NJIT forward Regsan Watkins jumped on the rebound and poked it past the goal line.

The Catamounts were able to hold their lead in the final minutes and emerge with the victory.

The game was physical throughout, with 29 fouls and three yellow cards. Tensions boiled over in the game’s final seconds.

As the final whistle blew, both teams engaged in a benches-clearing shoving match near the halfway line. Curse words and a fist or two flew through the air as Kool & The Gang’s “Celebration” blared on the stadium speakers.

Eventually, cooler heads prevailed and players and coaches shook hands before NJIT headed toward the locker room and Vermont stayed on the field to celebrate with the fans.

Vermont Head Coach Rob Dow said the recent history between the two teams played a part in the physicality of the game. This was the fourth meeting between the Catamounts and Highlanders this calendar year.

“Going into the match, there was some heat,” Dow said. “I’m glad they’re in the conference, they’re a great team, and I think we’ve got to hold our composure a little bit more late in the game.”

UVM will travel to face the University of New Hampshire in the championship game. The Wildcats are the tournament’s top seed and the No. 6 ranked team in the country. The matchup is a rematch of last season’s final, when UNH won 2-0.

Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Wildcat Stadium in Durham, New Hampshire.