Randolph Center, VT- The Vermont Tech Men's Soccer team was able to last through double-overtime to capture a victory at home versus Yankee Small College Conference opponent Hampshire College, 4-3.
Coming into the contest, the thoughts of the Knights were on a bit of revenge. Just barely a week ago they had ventured into Amherst, MA to battle Hampshire on their home turf. In that game, despite scoring early the Knights were not able to continue their attack, eventually succumbing to Hampshire by a final of 6-2. The men were not about to let this result occur again, although they did start off the game with similar vigor as they did a week ago.
At just 3:30 into the game, Junior Hannes Fisher-Byrne (Strafford, VT) plunked one in the back of the net, assisted by Matt Golden (Sr./Lisbon, NH), to give Vermont Tech an early lead. Fisher-Byrne was the most active forward on the Knights, as he kept attack time and time again, finishing the game with seven total shots, four on goal and the one score.
Much like the game in Massachusetts, Hampshire was not one to shy away from the challenge of a deficit in the opening minutes. At 9:04 the visitors answered the home team by putting one by VTC goalie Nate James (Sr./Arlington, VT). The game remained tied until late in the first half. Due to a Hampshire foul, VTC was granted a free kick from nearly midfield on the side of the team benches. Junior Ramsey Allen (Sheldon, VT) took dead aim at the goal from the left side of the field, and slightly aided by the wind was able to loft the ball, curving it over the outstretched hands of the Hampshire goalie. The ball hit the upper right corner of the back of the net at 42:37, allowing the Knights to go into the half up 2-1.
The Knights came out of halftime energized, obviously to put in another goal to demoralize the visitors. Freshman Joaquin Currier-Cuber (Danville, VT) did just that in notching his second goal of the season and his career at the 62:37 mark. The score put the home team up two with less than thirty minutes remaining in the contest.
Instead of becoming demoralized, however, Hampshire seemed reinvigorated. Less than a minute after Currier-Cuber's goal, Hampshire was attacking the Knights' zone. First was a shot wide right, followed closely in time with a shot high. A few minutes passed before Hampshire was again able to garner a significant attack, but instead of creating a goal what occurred was a Vermont Tech foul in the box, resulting in a penatly shot. The visitors sent their best to the line, he collected and calmly rolled one to the right with VTC goalie James already committed to diving left.
The goal of Hampshire was followed less than two minutes later by another, at 69:01, to knot the score at three. Despite nine more combined shots in the remainder of the second half, including one that hit the post for Hampshire, the game was to stay tied at the end of regulation.
Overtime began with the officials briefly going over the rules with both teams. In regular season YSCC play, overtime begins with a ten minute period and contains a golden goal, sudden death finish. If teams were to still be tied at the end of the first overtime, another ten minute period would be played. At the end of that time, the game would be deemed a draw.
The first overtime came and went without a score, each team firing two shots. The second overtime commenced with Vermont Tech controlling the ball and quickly moving it down the left side of the field. Just seconds into the final period, Jarek Larivee (So./Enosburg, VT) sent the ball in on a crossing pass from about twenty yards away from the goal on the left side of the field. The pass found Sophomore Wellington Newton (Burlington, VT), who on his first shot of the game drilled the ball into the back of the net to give the Knights the hard fought 4-3 victory.
In the end, Vermont Tech took the slight edge in overall shots, 22-19 including 3-2 in the overtime periods. Hampshire completed the game saving eight of twelve shots on goal, while James saved seven of the ten shots he faced and both shots on goal faced in the overtime periods.
Vermont Tech raised their record to 3-4, 2-2, and will next travel to NHTI in Concord, NH. The game is slated to take place Thursday, September 27th at 4:00pm. In their previous meeting this year, NHTI was able to take a 2-0 victory over the Knights.