BENNINGTON, Vt. – A tense back-and-forth struggle ended in a 2-2 double-overtime draw Wednesday afternoon between the Southern Vermont College and Elms College men's soccer teams in New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) action at Everett Field.
An own goal put the visiting Blazers up 1-0 early into the match before SVC tied it with a score in the 32nd minute. Elms regained the lead at the 62:11 mark, only to see the Mountaineers even things once again just 51 seconds later. Neither team could push one across in the remainder of regulation, and the tie then stood through 20 extra minutes before the two sides walked out with a lone point in the league standings.
The draw ends a five-game Blazer winning streak against Southern Vermont dating back to 2012. It is the third tie for SVC this year, marking the most in program history; with each of those draws being against league opponents, it is also the most ties for an NECC team against the Conference in league history.
The Mountaineers are now 4-7-3 overall and 1-2-3 in league play. Elms moves to 2-12-1 on the season and 2-2-1 against the NECC.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday with their next game, SVC hosting Newbury College at 1 p.m. while Elms heads to Daniel Webster College for a12 p.m. Conference showdown.
The Southern Vermont goals came from junior Paddy McGovern (Cheshire, England) and freshman Daniel Rangel (San Antonio, Texas) while the Blazer strike was off the foot of junior Donald Whittle (Somers, Conn.).
SVC freshman keeper Chris Jimenez (Newark, N.J.) turned away 13 Elms shots in the draw (4-7-3) while his freshman EC counterpart Tyler Graves(Monson, Mass.) made nine saves at the other end (2-6-1).
The Blazers took a 32-19 advantage in total shots during the day while taking eight corners to Southern Vermont's six.
Things were suspenseful throughout-- not only with every shot being the potential game winner or equalizing tally, but with every play being hardly contested as there were a total of 38 fouls and eight cautions issued by the officials. One of those yellow cards resulted in an Elms ejection, allowing SVC to play with the man advantage through the final 5:59 of double overtime. It wouldn't hurt the Blazers in Wednesday's match, however, as they were able to hold off the Mountaineers through the second extra frame to secure the tie.
Elms got on the board first with the help of a miscue by the Southern Vermont defense. Blazer freshman Babba Jaden (Clarkston, Ga.) played the ball down into the left side of the box and got it away freely near the goal line; as he sent it into the middle of the field, the ball was knocked into the net by a retreating Mountaineer for the visitors to stake their first lead.
SVC appeared to tie the game in the 31st minute as a free kick around an EC wall resulted in a rebound opportunity; McGovern pushed it in, but he was instead called for a foul to the relief of the Blazers. It would be only 58 seconds later, however, that the Southern Vermont junior got a good goal to go for the hosts to tie it up. A ball sent down the gut was misplayed by an Elms defender and kept going towards the box; McGovern ran onto it and went shoulder-to-shoulder with another Blazer through the penalty area before tapping it past the EC keeper into the left side for his league-leading 16th goal of the year.
The 1-1 score lasted until halftime and through the opening 17:11 of the second period. That's when Elms regained its upper hand, getting a pretty finish by Whittle for the edge. Junior Justin Kassouf (Milford, Conn.) won a loose ball 30 yards into the EC end of the pitch and proceeded to carry it all the way down to about 10 yards outside of the SVC box. He then played a nice pass with the outside of his foot to Whittle who took one touch to elude a Mountaineer defender. That set him up to fire a left-footed shot into the right side of the net, past a diving Jimenez for his ninth of the season.
The 2-1 Elms lead lasted less than a minute as Southern Vermont stole the EC momentum quickly. Freshman Jake Figueiredo (Wethersfield, Conn.) played a long ball into the box from the right touchline, a soaring pass that was nearly grabbed by the Blazer keeper. It glanced off the gloves and fell to the turf, however, where Rangel was able to knock home his third of the year into an empty net.
Both teams had their chances through the rest of regulation, but the goalies came up big with three saves, apiece, to keep the stalemate intact.
SVC nearly won it in the 96th minute when the Mountaineers broke through with a golden opportunity. McGovern received a brilliant through ball at the penalty dot while on the run, but his point-blank take was stymied by Graves. Once the match went into the second overtime, the two sides settled in an made sure not to concede the winning goal as there wasn't a single shot on frame registered in the final 10 minutes.
Source: (Southern Vermont Athletics)