The Massachusetts men’s soccer team earned its first victory this weekend with a 1-0 win over New Hampshire.
However, two days later, the Minutemen fell by the same score line to Vermont, which handed UMass its fourth loss in its first five games of the season.
Vermont’s Zach Paul scored off a penalty kick in the second half of Sunday’s affair to earn the victory for UVM.
The loss puts the Maroon and White in a deep hole to begin the season, as it drops them to 1-4 on the year. It also marks their worst start to a season since 2004, in which they began the year 1-3-1, and finished the year at 8-9-2.
The UMass offense was frail, as it was unable to come up with a goal for the fourth time in its five games. The Minutemen have now registered one goal in five games and over 468 minutes of playing time.
The game was evenly matched for the first 67 minutes, until UMass was called for a hand ball in the penalty box. Paul lined up and buried it past a diving Shane Curran-Hays to make the score 1-0.
The Catamounts held off any late Minutemen rallies in the last 20 minutes, as they picked up the victory – their first at home – to improve their record to 3-1.
UMass was outshot drastically by UVM by a 15-3 margin with one shot on goal as opposed to seven by Vermont. Chris Roswess, Josh Schwartz and Chris Gilbert each posted one shot.
Besides allowing the penalty kick goal, Curran-Hays was solid in between the pipes for the second-straight game for the Minutemen, as he made five saves on the day.
UMass and UVM were each issued a yellow card; the Minutemen’s Andrew Henshaw was given one in the 20th minute and Christian Diaz was cautioned in the 80th minute.
The Minutemen found their first win in their 2011 campaign by edging the Wildcats, 1-0, courtesy of Bryant Craft’s golden goal in double overtime on Friday afternoon.
Craft’s heroics came in the 108th minute of the game as he headed a deflected pass into the net with only 65 seconds remaining on the clock.
The Minutemen found Craft’s goal to be truly golden, as it was the first of the year for both the senior forward and the entire 2011 roster. Previously, the team had been shutout, 7-0, through its first three contests.
Following a shaky first start in his season debut against Jacksonville last week, goalkeeper Shane Curran-Hays was seemingly a brick wall against the Wildcats, making seven saves – one shy of matching his career-high – and posting his first shutout since the 2009 season.
The two squads were even in shots at 14 a piece, while UMass outshot UNH, 6-4, throughout the overtime sessions.
Chris Roswess led the Minutemen with four shots, two of which went on frame, while Josh Schwartz, Dominic Skrajewski, and Craft each fired two shots.
Both teams brought a dose of aggressiveness to their play, as 14 fouls were committed by UMass, while UNH was whistled 10 times.
Minutemen defender David Key was given the lone caution of the game, when he was issued a yellow card at the 32 minute, 32 second mark of the first half.
UMass will return to action this Friday at Harvard in the final game of its season-opening six-game road trip before making its season debut on Rudd Field this Sunday against Boston University.
Stephen Hewitt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.