Second half explosion gives UMass men’s soccer its fourth shutout win of the season

Graham Brenner scores twice, now at three on the year

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Second half explosion gives UMass men’s soccer its fourth shutout win of the season

Mehroz Kapadia

Mehroz Kapadia

Mehroz Kapadia

By Richard Rodgers, Collegian Correspondent

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After a scoreless first half, the Massachusetts men’s soccer team broke out for six goals in the second half for a 6-0 win over Central Connecticut State.

It took UMass (4-1-0) over an hour to strike first, as sophomore defender Graham Brenner scored just after the 60-minute mark to continue an impressive start to the season. Six minutes later, midfielder Tyler Mann was able to score his first goal of the season, and freshman defender Logan Brown followed with another score just 33 seconds later.

“We finished chances,” coach Fran O’Leary said. “We were outplayed for large stretches of the first half, but that’s a credit to our back four. We managed to shut them out in the first half despite being well outshot. Everyone stepped up their game in the second half. It was a dominant half and we hung tough.”

UMass found more momentum in the final 10 minutes, as goals from sophomore forward James McPherson and freshman forward Ryan Levay put them up five. To top things off, Brenner put in a header for his second goal of the game and his third of the season.

CCSU (0-2-0) had 12 shots compared to 11 for the Minutemen, but the Blue Devils were unable to capitalize, as UMass did a solid job keeping those shots away from the net. Junior goalkeeper Marvyn Dorchin continued a strong start to his season, recording four saves and another shutout win.

“His handling has been excellent,” O’Leary said. “He’s pulled off some spectacular saves and hasn’t spilled anything. It was a rainy night so that can be tricky, and he did a really good job.”

The Minutemen saw two freshmen hold down the fort in their first career starts. Defender Benjamin Wiemann took the place of grad student Eric Eberl, who’s currently dealing with an undisclosed injury. Taking the place of fellow freshman Quinn Serafino, who came off the bench Saturday night, Levay scored his first career goal in the 84th minute.

“Quinn (Serafino) has done terrific for a young guy, he’s put in a lot of minutes,” O’Leary said. “He works with a great intensity and has put in a lot of time. Ryan had fresh legs so we put him in.”

Wiemann was also able to contribute and had a solid outing in his first start.

“They both did well,” O’Leary said. “They’re both still finding their way. They’re young, talented players who are still trying to figure out college soccer.”

The biggest story for UMass this season has been its incredible defensive run, as the Minutemen have only allowed one goal all season. That lone goal came in a loss last game against a strong side in Dartmouth. Despite the tough loss, the Minutemen got right back on track to improve to 4-1.

The Minutemen finish their road trip Tuesday with a 3 p.m. match against Bryant. They return home next Saturday for a matchup with UMass Lowell at 1 p.m. 

Richard Rodgers can be reached by email at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @RichardDRodgers.