Men’s soccer: UMass extends unbeaten streak to four

By Melissa Turtinen, Collegian Staff

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The two game-winning goals this weekend for the Massachusetts men’s soccer team were also career firsts for two of its players.

Junior Stuart Thomson headed in the first goal on Sunday in UMass’ 2-0 win against George Washington (6-5-3, 2-2-2 Atlantic 10) for his first career goal, and freshman Chris Roswess knocked in his in overtime for the Minutemen’s 2-1 win over Richmond (6-5-3, 1-2-3 A-10) on Friday. With the two wins, the Minutemen (5-6-3, 3-1-1 A-10) extended their unbeaten streak to four games.

“Good game [on Sunday]. [Sunday] was the key game of the two. I think we struggled a little bit on Friday, but we were able to get it done when we had to, the hard way, and then today I thought we played a consistent 90 minutes and defended very well and created a lot of chances. We didn’t finish as many as I would have liked to, but we were still able to put them under and we did a pretty good job,” UMass coach Sam Koch said.

Thomson’s goal came off of a corner kick by Ben Arikian. Arikian took the kick from the left side and Thomson was there to head the ball to the right side of the goal, past GW goalkeeper Matt Scheer.

“I stand on the front post, and what happens is I take a two or three yard run out and I got up and the ball was played straight to my head and I put it in the back of the net,” Thomson said. “It had a good chance [of going in], I didn’t know if it was going to beat the keeper, but I knew it was on frame and when I hit the back of the net I was really just pumped.”

UMass secured its lead at the end of the first half when Prince Ofosu received a pass from Chris Vaccaro. Ofosu carried the ball down the right side of the field and it looked like he was going to cross the ball, but he shot it into the left side of the goal. Junior Bryan Hogan was also credited on the assist with his pass to Vaccaro.

“[On Sunday], we worked hard, we worked as a unit. We didn’t give too many opportunities up in the back and we took it to them, it was good,” Thomson said.

On Friday, UMass scored three goals, but only two of them in the correct net. Thomson accidentally knocked the ball in UMass’ goal to put Richmond in the lead, but with just a few minutes remaining in regulation, junior Mark DeSantis scored his third goal of the season to send the game into overtime.

Roswess came through for the Minutemen and scored the game-winning goal off of Mark DeSantis’s corner kick, 98 minutes, 15 seconds into the game.

“Hopefully it’s the start of some good things,” Thomson said about their recent success against A-10 opponents.

The win moves UMass into second place in the A-10 standings. The Minutemen have 10 points, tied with Temple (7-4-3, 3-1-1 A-10), and are six points behind Dayton (11-2-2, 5-0-1 A-10).

Game notes

Sunday’s win over George Washington was Koch’s 250th career win. His 200th career win was also against GW on Oct. 3, 2003