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Castleton Spartans

Men's Soccer Shuts Out First-Place Colby-Sawyer, 2-0

Men's Soccer Shuts Out First-Place Colby-Sawyer, 2-0

CASTLETON, Vt.Seraphin Iradukunda netted two goals and Aaron Parker recorded seven saves for his second shutout in three games as the Castleton men's soccer team handed first-place Colby-Sawyer its first conference loss of the season, 2-0, Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.

With the win, Castleton improved to 4-5-2 on the season and 3-0-1 in conference play. Colby-Sawyer fell to 4-5 overall and 3-1 in NAC action. 

Castleton came out strong and jumped out to an early lead in the third minute. Fidele Rutayisire split the defense with a through ball that found Iradukunda, who broke away and put one move on Colby-Sawyer keeper Shane Sacks before burying the shot to pull momentum in the Spartans' favor early.

Iradukunda came away with a pair of chances midway through the opening frame but Sacks came up strong with two saves – one of which forced a lunge to his left – to keep the score intact. Jack Kingdon broke loose in the Chargers' zone twice but fired a pair of low shots just wide of the goal. Sean Springer fired another strong drive late in the half that Sacks was able to gather to keep the score, 1-0. 

Colby-Sawyer found its best chance in the period when Jake Sykes came away with a pair of corner kicks near the 14th minute. The latter corner snuck through traffic and Yannick Gonsalves re-directed the shot on net, but Parker was there to make a big save. Parker registered two saves total in the half as Castleton held a 1-0 lead at the break.  

The Spartans once again came out of the gates strong in the second half, and once again it was Iradukunda who sparked the offense early. His second goal of the match came just over two minutes into the second frame. After breaking free behind the defense, Iradukunda let loose on a shot initially saved but he buried his own rebound as the Spartans doubled their lead just 2:22 into the final stanza.

Colby-Sawyer picked up its offensive pressure but the Spartan defense matched it to keep the Chargers at bay. Five corner kicks over a three-minute span forced two shots that Parker nabbed, plus a header from Denali Sexton that Parker snared out of the air to hold the two-goal advantage. Castleton's defense was at its best all game, holding possession down the stretch as Kingdon nabbed two final shots on goal and Castleton went on to win, 2-0.

Parker finished with seven saves to collect his second shutout in three games and improve to 4-5-2 on the season. Sacks fell to 3-2 with eight saves and two goals allowed.

The Spartans outshot Colby-Sawyer, 15-12, including 10-7 on goal. The Chargers held an advantage in corner kicks, 15-6, while Castleton committed 10 fouls to the Chargers' 11.

Castleton returns to the pitch next Saturday, Oct. 7, to face Thomas in another crucial NAC matchup on the road at 3:30 p.m.