UMass men’s soccer eliminated from playoff contention with loss to Davidson on Sunday

By Nicholas Casale

(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)
(Judith Gibson-Okunieff/Daily Collegian)

In order to earn a berth in the Atlantic 10 playoffs, the Massachusetts men’s soccer team needed to win or tie against Davidson on Sunday.

A glimmer of hope remained when UMass sophomore Carlo deMarco put the game back within reach in the 76th minute, firing a shot into the top corner shrinking the Wildcats’ lead to 3-1.

The Minutemen (2-14-1, 1-5-1 A-10), rejuvenated with a goal, threw everything forward in the last 15 minutes, launching cross after cross into the box looking for the head or feet of senior captain Matt Keys.

However, UMass failed to find the net again and was punished on a counterattack in the 89th minute when Davidson midfielder Cort Coxhead broke through and bent the ball into the far post – extending the lead to 4-1 and effectively knocking the Minutemen out of playoff contention.

After a scoreless first half, the Wildcats took the lead in the 57th minute on a goal by Valeriy Sviderskiy, who took advantage of a poor clearance and latched onto the ball just outside the UMass box. He dribbled past one defender and goalkeeper Ryan Buckingham and tucked the ball away into an open net.

Davidson doubled its lead in the 67th minute when junior George Kaloudis ran in behind the Minutemen’s defense and skipped past Buckingham, opening up space for an easy finish. Kaloudis managed to get himself on the board again in 75th minute, when he fired a curling shot into the far post.

The Minutemen were outplayed in every facet of the game Sunday afternoon. UMass was outshot 17-8 and never really found a rhythm until the dying minutes of the game.

The Wildcats (9-2-4, 3-2-1) consistently linked up well and successfully dominated the midfield, making it just too difficult for the young Minutemen team to get a foothold in the match.

UMass will return home to Rudd Field to play its final game of the season against St. Bonaventure Saturday at 1 p.m.

Nicholas Casale can be reached at [email protected]