UVM’s men’s soccer competed in their first of a two-game series at Virtue Field this past weekend against the Colgate University Raiders as part of the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Windjammer Classic. The Catamounts took on the Raiders and defeated them 1-0.
The first period was off to a slow start. “I think the first half we came out a bit scrappy,” first-year Bernard Yeboah said. “We didn’t come out fired up or determined.”
Both teams returned from the scoreless first period determined to edge the other out.
For the first six minutes, Colgate dominated. In the 69th minute the Cats scored what would be the only goal of the game.
Vermont first-year Brian Wright earned a 2-on-1 finish for the Catamounts with an assist from Yeboah. In his first collegiate goal, Wright sliced the ball into the back of the net from six yards out.
“Coach gave us a half time speech saying that we’re home and we need to defend our turf. So, we came out flying and we got rewarded,” Yeboah said. Colgate attempted to answer back with a goal. With 26:44 remaining, Raider first-year Ethan Kutler fired a shot at Vermont senior goalkeeper Conor Leland that hit the post.
At the 90-minute buzzer, Colgate was unable to come back and Vermont earned the 1-0 victory.
Leland earned two on target saves for his second shutout of the year and eighth of his career in the green and gold.
Despite the positive outcome Yeboah felt there was still room for improvement, “We should just play more instead of just launching the ball, more playing on the ground and I think we will do well.”
Yeboah and Wright — who are responsible for the game-winning goal — represent the young talent that has come onto the roster.
“We are certainly capable of doing more than what we did,” head coach Jessie Cormier said. “I thought we survived and a couple of guys made a couple of key plays for us.”
“I think the standard, what we are capable of and what we are actually doing has to come up so that we can consistently be successful,” Cormier said.
The Cats returned to Virtue Field to play the UMass Minutemen Sunday Sept. 8 for the second game of the tournament.
The Catamounts beat the Minutemen 3-2 earning Vermont the Windjammer Classic title for the 11th time in the history of the tournament.
Senior defender Salvatore Borea led the Catamounts with two goals while sophomore Danny Childs scored one.
The Minutemen put points on the scoreboard before Vermont in the first period. In the 26th minute, sophomore Peter Alvarenga assisted junior Josh Schwartz to bring UMass up 1-0. However, the lead didn’t last long for the Minutemen.
With five seconds left in the first half, Borea tied the game with a goal off of senior Scott Kisling’s initially deflected header.
Playing off the momentum, the Catamounts took a 2-1 lead in the 67th minute. Childs was able to get behind the UMass defenders and beat goalkeeper Nick Ruiz to score his first career goal.
Borea scored on another second chance opportunity, which put UVM up 3-1.
“I knew we needed a goal,” Borea said. “It’s the end of the half and everyone is all frantic so figured I would put my foot on the ball and see what I could do.”
UMass came back with a goal by sophomore Mike Morris.
With three minutes left, Vermont held off UMass to claim the Windjammer Classic title. This win moves UVM to a 3-0-1 record overall.
Cormier did see some improvement on the field, despite the slow start, “I thought today we went down early, but we fought back and took control.”12