Spartans Blank Maine Maritime For Third Straight Shutout

Spartans Blank Maine Maritime For Third Straight Shutout

CASTLETON, Vt. - For the third consecutive match, the Castleton men's soccer team rolled to victory by a final score of 6-0 as the Spartans cruised past Maine Maritime Saturday afternoon in North Atlantic Conference action at Spartan Stadium.

Castleton has now won three in a row and six out of its last seven to improve to 9-6-2 overall on the season. The Spartans remain unbeaten in NAC play with a 7-0-1 mark with one match remaining in the regular season. Maine Maritime fell to 3-9-3 overall and 2-4-2 in conference play after the loss.

Fidele Rutayisire staked Castleton to a 1-0 advantage just under five minutes into the match, finding space in the offensive zone and smashing a shot to the back of the net. Seraphin Iradukunda doubled the Spartans' lead in the 17th minute after receiving a pass near the top of the box and making one move on a defender before slotting a shot past the keeper.

After a period of back-and-forth action over the next 20-plus minutes, Iradukunda netted his second goal of the match with less than two minutes remaining in the half. The freshman took a pass from Derek Blouin and raced in for the goal at the 43:22 mark, giving Castleton a 3-0 advantage at the half. Aaron Parker made two saves in the half, including one just 19 seconds in where he dove to his right to deflect a shot from Matthew Caron just wide on a one-touch opportunity for the Mariners.

The final frame was more of the same as Castleton put the Mariners away with three more goals over the final 45 minutes. Blouin sparked the Spartans early in the half with his third goal of the season, battling traffic in front and heading home a deep free kick from Jack Kingdon at the 46:44 mark.

Rutayisire notched his second goal of the match off an assist from Thomas Kirk in the 53rd minute. Kirk controlled possession deep in the Mariners' zone, before releasing a cross in front where Rutayisire spun around to redirect the ball past the keeper to stretch the Spartans' lead to 5-0. Abinash Rai capped the scoring with his fourth tally of the season in the 81st minute as Castleton went on to win, 6-0.

Iradukunda and Rutayisire led Castleton with two goals each on the afternoon. Parker finished with two saves in the match to improve to 9-6-2 on the season. Alex Fernald played the final 19-plus minutes in goal and did not face a shot. Andrew Coleman fell to 0-4-1 in goal for Maine Maritime after stopping seven shots.

Castleton controlled the pace for most of the match, outshooting Maine Maritime 25-7, including 13-2 on goal. The Spartans held a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks, while they committed four fouls to the Mariners' 10.

The Spartans conclude their regular season Sunday when they host Husson in a pivotal NAC matchup at 2:30 p.m. at Spartan Stadium.