Minutemen top Duquesne, fall to St. Bonaventure in final home games of season
On Friday, sophomore Sam DeNormandie showed his offensive accuracy and timely play to avoid another overtime game while he gave the Massachusetts men’s soccer team a 2-1 victory over Duquesne.
In their last home game of the year, there was nothing they could do to achieve (6-6-3, 3-4-0 Atlantic 10) a similar result as they lost to St. Bonaventure, 1-0, on Sunday.
The loss drops UMass to 10th in the A-10 standings and it is in jeopardy of missing the postseason entirely for the first time since 2006. This weekend’s results put the Minutemen three points behind Rhode Island and means they have to win both games against George Washington and Richmond next weekend in order to advance.
The SBU attack overwhelmed the Minutemen in the first half with an 8-2 advantage in shots. The Bonnies (9-6, 5-2 A-10) eventually converted on one of those opportunities as the game-winning shot came in the 31st minute.
Sam Maheu gave a pass to Joe Miller, who crossed the ball in the 18-yard box to Savarino, who put the shot in towards the center cross bar as it bounced over the goal line.
“We got beat to the ball, and that doesn’t take skill to do that,” UMass coach Sam Koch said. “That’s effort, and I give them credit. They came to play today.”
SBU finished the game outshooting UMass, 14-9, but the Minutemen gained momentum in the second half and nearly tied the game up. In the 80th minute, midfielder Ben Arikian had a shot hit the post, but came back to forward Chris Roswess whose shot was blocked by a Bonnie defender.
“We did some good things to get ourselves in some good situations and unfortunately we didn’t finish and we have to finish those chances to win games,” Koch said.
Despite another disappointing 1-0 loss, UMass can at least look at Friday’s win over the Dukes for some optimism, since that game still gives it some chance of making the A-10 Tournament.
Arikian got the Minutemen on the board in the 13th minute of play after Roswess sent a cross towards the box to junior Matt Hess who got the ball to Arikian on a header. The goal is the junior’s third of the season, tying him with senior Mark DeSantis as the team’s leader in scoring.
However, Duquesne would not go away easily. After several close calls, the Dukes finished on an opportunity in the 74th minute when Alex Trujillo booted a shot from 10 yards outside the goal in the upper left hand corner to tie the game at one.
UMass came right back in the closing minutes as the offense applied pressure on the Dukes’ defense. Midfielder Chris Vaccaro sent a cross to DeNormandie who hit his second goal of the season.
DeNormandie had another opportunity at the net, but went down on a foul by the Dukes to give UMass a penalty kick with 11 seconds left.
Arikian took the free kick that would’ve given his team a two-goal advantage, but Duquesne goalkeeper Chris Torres prevented the Hermann candidate from scoring his fourth goal of the season.
UMass hits the road next weekend for two do-or-die matches as the regular season wraps up. Both teams, Richmond and George Washington, stand below the .500 mark.
Adam Miller can be reached at email@example.com.