UMass men’s soccer dealt first loss of season after falling 1-0 to Vermont

Minutemen outshot 18-8

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Thom Kendall/UMass Athletics

By Frederick Hanna III, Assistant Sports Editor

The Massachusetts men’s soccer team fell 1-0 to Vermont on Saturday in a nonconference matchup at home.

UMass (3-1-1) was unable to break through the Catamounts (5-0) defense and struggled to create any offensive opportunities. The Minutemen only mustered up eight shots in total for the game compared to Vermont’s 18. It was a lackluster day for UMass who couldn’t get anything going against a tough Vermont squad, but there were certainly some things to take away with from the game.

“Disappointed with the result but pleased with our performance in the second half,” head coach Fran O’Leary said. “That’s our third loss in 17 competitive games so obviously we are not used to losing. We are not very happy, but I think we made it difficult on ourselves in the first half. We didn’t try to break the pressure or go a different way. In the second half I thought our guys were terrific.”

UMass started off slow in the first half while Vermont came out strong and put them on its back heels quickly. In the 30th minute UMass goalkeeper Marvyn Dorchin made an acrobatic save diving to his right and pushing the ball away forcing a corner kick which kept things knotted up at zero. But on the ensuing corner, Vermont broke through the deadlock. Noah Egan headed a shot into the back of the net to give the Catamounts a 1-0 lead.

“Disappointed to give a goal away on a set piece,” O’Leary said. “We will learn a lot from this and we will get better. Now we have got to make sure a loss doesn’t turn into a losing streak.”

Coming out of the break UMass shifted its gears into overdrive trying to mount some pressure onto Vermont’s defense. The second half saw the Minutemen even the shot tally at four apiece with the Catamounts.

The closest chances UMass had in the frame were produced by its forward Yosuke Hanya. In the 74th minute Hanya struck a shot down the center of the net that was saved by Vermont’s keeper Nathan Silveira. In the 84th minute Hanya won a free kick right outside the box and nearly scored with the shot lifting just over the bar. Hanya’s late pressure wasn’t enough to get the Minutemen level with Vermont.

Aside from the one goal allowed by UMass, its defense held out strong against a quality Vermont team. The defense that consisted of Graham Brenner and Logan Brown showcased its strength in trying to keep the game within reach for UMass.

“It’s always good to play good teams,” Brenner said. “I think it’s the best team we’ve played this year. It’s good to play teams like this who give us a good run for their money. They are a really physical and fast team. They know how to play good soccer so it’s good because it gives us a good test for Wednesday against Dartmouth.”

UMass squares off against Dartmouth next Wednesday with kickoff set for 4 p.m.

Frederick Hanna III can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @FrederickHIII.