Men's Soccer Falls to Southern Maine in OT, 2-1

Men's Soccer Falls to Southern Maine in OT, 2-1

GORHAM, Maine. – The Castleton men's soccer team controlled possession for most of its opening contest, but Southern Maine capitalized early and finished late to come away with a 2-1, overtime victory in the first 2017 match for both squads Friday afternoon at Hannaford Field.

Castleton's Seraphin Iradukunda looked poised to set up an offensive opportunity near the 18-yard box just inside the final minute of the first overtime period, but he was battled off the ball and an outlet pass found Southern Maine's Sam Anderson streaking down the center of the field the other way. He snuck away from the Spartan back line, and beat goalkeeper Aaron Parker to a 1-on-1 ball for his second goal of the game in the 99th minute. Anderson's game-winner was just the fourth shot on goal in the game for the Huskies. 

Southern Maine (1-0) took advantage of an early miscue deep in the Spartans' defensive zone to get on the board first. Anderson challenged a Spartan defender just outside the box, came away with the steal and side-stepped past Parker, before finishing with a right-footed shot into the back of the net to give the Huskies an early 1-0 lead in the fifth minute.

Castleton (0-1) held the advantage in possession through the first half, outshooting Southern Maine, 4-2, over the first 45 minutes. The Spartans had multiple opportunities to find the back of the net with strong offense on display. Jack Kingdon fed two shots on goal inside the first 15 minutes of the contest, but both were steered away by Southern Maine goalkeeper Richard Glemawu. Fidele Rutayisire just missed an open-net shot that sailed wide of the goal post in the 28th minute, and lifted one just over the cross bar less than two minutes later. On Castleton's second corner kick in the 33rd minute, Derek Blouin punched a header just wide of the net in what appeared to be a strong chance for the equalizer. Thomas Kirk came away with the final first-half opportunity, feeding a quick shot that beamed straight into the chest of Glemawu as the first-half horn went off.

The Spartan pressure continued in the second half, and they were finally able to break through in the 64th minute. After Kingdon was awarded a corner kick on the right side, he spun a perfect cross into the box, where Blouin lifted a header past Glemawu to tie the game, 1-1. The Huskies came away with the final opportunity in regulation, as a cross pass came through to Joseph Kalilwa, where he lifted a shot from just inside the box and skipped it inches over the cross bar inside the final minute. The Spartans were able to clear and send the game to overtime.

The Spartans played a large portion of the contest on the offensive attack, doubling Southern Maine in the shots department, 8-4. Castleton had three corner kicks to Southern Maine's one, and the Huskies committed more than twice as many fouls (23) as Castleton (10).

Castleton will return to the pitch Saturday afternoon to face Coast Guard Academy at 3:30 p.m. in the final game of the Husky Challenge at Hannaford Field.