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Minutemen fail to qualify for A-10 Tournament

msocAFor the first time since 2006, the Massachusetts men’s soccer team will not be participating in the Atlantic 10 Tournament.

After beating Richmond, 2-1, on Friday afternoon the Minutemen (7-7-3, 4-5-0 A-10) fell to George Washington, 3-0, Sunday afternoon, but had all ready been eliminated from making the tournament with Rhode Island and Charlotte both winning on Friday.

The Colonials, who were knocked out of any chance of playing in the A-10 tournament with a 4-1 loss to URI Friday, used a hat trick by senior forward Andy Stadler to get past the Minutemen in their final game of the season.

In the 20th minute, Stadler put GW up when he scored his 11th goal of the year on assists from Nikolay Aleksandrov and Mike Rollings. Stadler had a career high in assists with two against the Minutemen back in 2006, with that game ending in a 3-0 victory for the Colonials.

The Minutemen held a 7-6 shot advantage at halftime and seemed to have opportunities to score from forward Mark DeSantis, defender Andrew Henshaw and midfielder Matthew Hess.

However, a red card was issued to sophomore forward Chris Roswess, and UMass was forced to play a man down for the remainder of the game. With Roswess out for the rest of the contest, GW was able to capitalize, as Stadler added his second goal on the afternoon in the right side of the net. Rollings passed to sophomore Yoni Berhanu who then found Stadler at the top of the box. Nearly eight minutes later, Stadler capitalized off of a UMass turnover and a pass from Mattia Melillo to give the Colonials the 3-0 lead, putting the game out of reach.

On the day, the Minutemen were outshot, 14-11, including 8-4 in the second half. UMass had just three corner kicks on the afternoon, while the Colonials had five. Junior goalkeeper Chris Piekos replaced Shane Curran-Hays in net at the start of the second half, making four saves. In a highly physical contest, there were nine cards issued between both teams, including the a yellow card and red card to Roswess and yellow cards issued to freshman defender Dominic Skrajewski, Piekos, and freshman forward Brodie Steigerwald. GW held the advantage in fouls, 15-9.

Roswess scored the golden goal and his first goal of the season in the overtime win against the Spiders off a cross from defender Mark Dangleis from the left flank to the back post in the 96th minute of play. The first half was scoreless for both teams, with the Minutemen holding a 10-6 shot advantage going into halftime. UMass went on to outshoot the Spiders, 27-10 on the day, with junior midfielder Ben Arikian and DeSantis both recording four shots on goal.

DeSantis scored on a cross from Roswess midway through the second half to put the Minutemen up 1-0. DeSantis scored his team-high fourth goal of the season from 10 yards out, but the Spiders answered with a goal from Houston Oldham with nine minutes to go, forcing overtime. The Minutemen responded offensively with seven shots to the Spiders zero in extra time, while Curran-Hays made three saves in the contest.

David Brinch can be reached at dbrinch@student.umass.edu.

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