Men’s soccer takes two league victories

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s soccer team picked up a pair of 1-0 NESCAC wins this past weekend, including the 350th career victory for Coach David Saward, who will step down at the end of this season after 32 years.
Heading into a Wednesday night game at Keene State, Saward’s career mark stood at 351-120-59. Next up for the Panthers (4-1, 2-1 NESCAC) is a game at league foe Bowdoin on Saturday.
On Sunday, the Panthers edged visiting Hamilton (3-2-1, 1-2 NESCAC) on a second-half goal from Jed Sass, his second game-winner of the weekend. Sass scored in the 55th minute. His initial 10-yard bid off a loose ball hit the right post and bounced back to him, and he netted the rebound from six yards out.
Hamilton had the only chance of the first half, but Middlebury goalie Jeremy Yeager (four saves) denied both an eight-yard shot from Aidan Wood and Jefri Schmidt’s point-blank rebound.
After the intermission, the Continentals nearly got on the board in the 50th minute when Wood sent a bending ball from the right 15 yards away, but Yeager dove toward the far post and punched the chance away.
Middlebury doubled up the Continentals in shots (10-5), while Hamilton held a 5-3 edge in corner kicks. Linds Caldwell made three saves for Hamilton.
On Saturday, Sass’s game-winner vs. Amherst (1-1) came on a direct kick in the 51st minute. Sass shot from the top of the penalty area and hooked a shot into the left corner.
Each team shot twice on goal in the first half, with Yeager (five saves total) and Amherst’s Lee Owen (two saves) stopping them. Despite the Panther’s 1-0 win, the Mammoths earned advantages of 15-8 in shots and 8-3 in corner kicks.
Middlebury nearly added an insurance goal in the 76th minute, but new Mammoth goalie Michael Stone (three saves in 14:55) smothered Drew Goulart’s shot from close range.

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