Panther men’s soccer ousted in first round

AMHERST, Mass. — Undefeated St. Joseph’s of Maine scored a late goal on Saturday to edge the Middlebury College men’s soccer team, 2-1, in a first-round NCAA Division III tournament game played at Amherst College.
The 10-4-3 Panthers carried much of the play and the territory and earned advantages of 15-7 in shots and 5-2 in corner kicks over the Monks. St. Joseph’s improved to 21-0, but lost to host Amherst on Sunday, 4-2.
The Panthers had the first good chances Saturday, but an early Aiden Robinson shot hit the crossbar, and Monk goalie Blake Mullen (seven stops) saved a sliding deflection by Peter Davis in the 35th minute.
St. Joseph’s took the lead at 35:50. Noah Robinson volleyed a ball into the lower left corner after Quinn Hewitt headed a throw-in into the box.
The Panthers continued to press in the second half, but Mullen denied Michael McFarlane’s 20-yard blast in the 69th minute, and a Davis header went just wide on a set piece in the 76th minute.
The Panthers tied the game at 78:01 with a transition tally from Daniel O’Grady. Drew Goulart played a pass ahead of O’Grady, who ran on the ball on the left side before looping a 20-yard shot into the far corner over the onrushing Mullen. The tally was O’Grady’s fifth of the season and just the second given up by the Monks this year.
The Monks converted their only good look on goal in the final 30 minutes. Dalton Gaumer lofted a free kick from just inside the midfield stripe into the box, and Hewitt flicked a header over Panther goalie Matt Hyer (two saves) high into the right side with 5:06 left to play. Goulart had a late shot on goal, but Mullen made a diving save to preserve the win.

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