Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Minutemen lose final home game on Senior Day

UMass falls 2-1 in double OT to Dayton

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Minutemen lose final home game on Senior Day

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

(Katherine Mayo/ Daily Collegian)

By Javier Melo, Collegian Staff

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The Massachusetts men’s soccer team celebrated Senior Day on Saturday, but the celebration was cut short as the Minutemen were unable to pick up a victory, losing 2-1 to Dayton at home.

It started off promising for the Minutemen (6-8-2, 2-5 Atlantic 10), who were able to get on the board first. This would change in the second half when the Flyers (6-5-4, 2-3-1 A-10) equalized, and then ultimately won the game in double overtime.  

“I’m disappointed but proud,” said UMass Coach Fran O’Leary. “I’m disappointed in the result, proud in the performance. Our guys gave such a committed performance. I felt we were very unfortunate not to come out on top.”

 The game was very physical, with multiple yellow cards and cautions handed out. This would play into the opening goal for UMass, when senior forward Jack Fulton collided with Dayton goalkeeper Jack Steele, resulting in a loose ball that Fulton put away in the 40th minute with an assist from sophomore forward Davis Smith.

The game would remain a back and forth physical contest until the 70th minute, when Dayton freshman defender Elias Harryson scored. With the time ticking away, the aggression picked up and both sides were aggressive in their attack. The stalemate ended in the 109th minute, when Dayton sophomore Jacob Degler scored off of a deflection to end the game.

It was not an ideal way to send out the seniors in their final home game, but it was a memorable day for them. Prior to the game, the seniors were celebrated in a ceremony that saw the families of the players come onto the field and each player be given their own moment to soak in the memories of their time with the team.

“The senior class is one of the best groups UMass has had,” O’Leary said. “They leave here with two trophies. We’ve been going on 88 years and not a lot of trophies in the program and they’ve brought in two for us, so we’ll miss them desperately.”

 An impressive senior class is highlighted by defenders Konrad Gorich and Brandon Merklin, both of whom were named to the A-10 All-Conference team last season, as well as defender Casey Hamill, who has logged the sixth-most minutes of any UMass player ever. Other contributors include forwards Fulton, who scored in the game and has been a critical part of the offense for the Minutemen, and DeAndrae Brown, who scored eight goals in his lone season with the program.

 The loss was also a tough blow to the tournament hopes for the Minutemen, who with the loss are now extreme longshots for the conference tournament. With one game remaining and two points behind teams in playoff spots who each have a game in hand, it is very likely that next Saturday’s away game against George Washington will be the last of the season.

The Minutemen will travel to Washington D.C. to take on GW on October 31st at 2 p.m.

Javier Melo can be reached at [email protected]

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