For the second consecutive game, the Massachusetts men’s soccer team shut out its opposition as it blanked Vermont with a 1-0 victory on Monday afternoon.
After finishing last fall on a six-game losing streak, the Minutemen have jumped out to a 2-0 start and appear to be rejuvenated from last year’s mediocrity.
The game went scoreless through the first half and through most of the second as well until sophomore forward Josh Schwartz broke the tie with his first goal of the year.
In the 78th minute, sophomore midfielder Robert Sena streaked down the sideline before he sent a perfect cross towards the net. Schwartz, who had been subbed into the game less than two minutes prior to the play, was at the receiving end of the pass, as he headed the ball past the keeper for the game-winner. It was Sena’s first collegiate assist.
Despite the victory, UMass was outshot, 14-9, and coach Sam Koch wasn’t completely satisfied with his team’s performance.
“We didn’t play as well as I know we can today, and we were really fortunate,” Koch told UMassAthletics.com. “I think Brian Frame played really well in goal and made some great saves for us. He kept us in the game.”
After picking up his first career win and shutout on Friday, the senior goalie saved four shots on the day, and handled himself well under pressure as the clock winded down.
The Catamounts really pushed UMass’ defense in the final two minutes with three corner kick opportunities and three shots, but they were unable to convert.
“It wasn’t a great performance for us, but I give Vermont credit; they made it hard for us to play,” Koch said. “We were able to find a way to win, and that’s a great result for us even though I don’t think we played as well as we can.”
The Minutemen will host Harvard on Friday as they wrap up their three-game season-opening homestand. It will be the first game of the year for the Crimson, who have not won in 13 straight contests, and finished last season with a 2-13-3 record. Their last victory came on Sept. 16, 2011, against UMass.
“They beat us last year and I don’t think anybody’s forgotten it,” Koch said. “We’re looking forward to getting on the field with them and getting another chance at them.”
The match is set to start at 4 p.m., immediately following the women’s soccer game, which is also against Harvard at Rudd Field.
Taylor Snow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.