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UMass men’s soccer defeats Colgate, 3-0

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team scored all it needed to secure the victory in the first 15 minutes of play.

Just in case that wasn’t enough, the Minutemen (3-1-3) scored two more just in the first half on their way to a 3-0 victory over Colgate on Tuesday. The win gave UMass a three-game winning streak, all of which have been shutouts, with one game left on the non-conference schedule.

Freshman Dominic Skrajewski scored the first goal after forward Mark DeSantis took a corner kick that bent towards the left. Goalkeeper Max Krasilovsky-Revell deflected the ball into the possession of defender Andrew Henshaw.

The sophomore then tapped the ball over to the left and Skrajewski got a shot off the left post inside the goal box.

The Minutemen didn’t have to wait much later for their second goal of the game. Five minutes later, the Raiders (4-4-0) fouled DeSantis inside the box, allowing left-footed Bryant Craft to drain a penalty kick to give them a 2-0 lead.

“We put the ball away in the first half well,” UMass coach Sam Koch said. “They weren’t great goals, but they were goals.”

Fouls proved costly for Colgate as they gave the Minutemen several opportunities in the goal and kept the pressure on the defense throughout the game. The Raiders finished with 13 fouls, seven of those coming in the first half.

On one of the fouls, midfielder Mike Garzi tripped midfielder Tyler Brown after he stole the ball away just outside of the box, which caused Garzi to pick up the game’s only yellow card.

Playing physical teams is nothing new for UMass. Three of the Minutemen’s previous opponents (Boston University, Hartford and Vermont) fouled more times than the Raiders.

But this time, UMass made the most of the penalties.

“[The penalty kick] was a nice momentum builder for us because we’ve been having those stops,” Koch said. “If you foul us around the 18-yard box, you’re going to get in trouble.”

Goalkeeper Chris Piekos (three saves) didn’t have a whole lot of work to do on defense as the Maroon and White limited shots on goal for the Raiders. The shutout gives Piekos his third of the season dating back to the Sept. 11 draw against New Hampshire.

The Raiders, however, faced pressure the entire game, even when certain possessions seemed to be going their way.

With 17 minutes, 22 seconds left in the first half, midfielder Stuart Amick dribbled past a Colgate defender but found himself cornered between the defender and the end line. Amick took a shot that was deflected by a defender that appeared to be going out of bounds.

The junior rebounded the shot while keeping the ball inbounds, and found DeSantis on a cross, who headed the ball in from the left side. The goal gave DeSantis his third of the season and is now the team leader in goals scored.

Colgate switched goalkeepers at the half to Colin Prather, who helped his team hold UMass to one shot on goal, but the defense stayed intact with Piekos having his only save opportunity of the half come with nine minutes left in the game.

Although the Raiders could only get the ball towards Piekos’s general direction a limited number of times, they found a few opportunities that forced the Minutemen to stay alert.

“At the end of the game, we gave them opportunities, which I didn’t really feel like we should’ve [done],” Koch said.

UMass plays its first conference opponent of the season against Fordham at home on Saturday, although the game doesn’t count as part of the Atlantic 10 schedule.

 Adam Miller can be reached at ajmil0@student.umass.edu.

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