Men’s soccer ousted via penalty kicks
TROY, N.Y. — The Middlebury College men’s soccer team did not allow a regulation goal in two games in an NCAA Division III Regional hosted by Rensselaer, this past weekend, but were eliminated by the home team on Sunday in penalty kicks. RPI improved to 15-2-3.
Before falling to RPI, 5-3, in PKs, on Sunday, the 9-3-8 Panthers blanked Johnson & Wales on Saturday, 2-0. The Panthers finished the season with 12 shutouts in 20 outings.
In Sunday’s game the Panthers had the first good chance, 10 minutes in. But Engineer goalie Luke Brezek (five saves) kicked a Ben Potter cross away from Brendan Barry run. Five minutes later, Panther Jacob LaBranche ripped a shot straight on from 20 yards, but Brezek made a diving stop to his right.
The Engineers tested Panther keeper Ryan Grady (four saves). Grady stopped both an angled shot by Austin Betterly and a Josh Gaudiano shot from the left.
Middlebury’s Jacob Charles worked behind the Engineer defense in the 68th minute, but Brezek used his left arm to deny Charles from 10 yards, the Panthers’ best chance of the half. The Engineers best opportunity came late, when a header by Trevor Bisson on a corner kick sailed just over the crossbar.
Barry had chances in both overtimes, one just wide and one stopped by Brezek from 12 yards out. In the second OT Michael Hartan missed high on a loose ball from 15 yards.
For Middlebury, Potter, Kieran Bhave and Shams Mohajerani each converted PKs to match the Engineers at 3-3 through three rounds. In the fourth, Brezek dove left and denied Liam Sloan’s rising attempt with his right arm, and RPI’s Paul Silva buried the ball into the left side for the win.
RPI finished edges of 16-9 in shots and a 10-3 in corner kick advantage.
In their 2-0 win vs. J&W on Saturday the Panthers had little trouble with the 17-3-2 Wildcats, who failed to generate good looks on Grady (two saves).
Drew Goulart headed in a Jack Spiridellis cross in the 16th minute, and at 39:02 minute Wilhelm headed down a feed from Mohajerani to his feet and banged home a 16-yard shot into the left side. Wildcat goalie Austin Scoggin made three stops.
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