Men’s Soccer Ties Bowdoin in Two OT

By Andrew Rigas

The Middlebury men’s soccer team fought Bowdoin to a draw on Saturday, Sept. 26 in Brunswick, Maine as neither the Panthers nor the Polar Bears could muster up a goal in 110 minutes of action. Then the Panther offense erupted in a big way at home against Hamilton on Tuesday, Sept. 29, scoring four unanswered goals en route to a 4-2 win.

Evenly matched from the start, Bowdoin had the first good scoring opportunity in the 10th minute when Connor Keefe blistered a shot off the left post and out of play. Center back Deklan Robinson ’16 provided Middlebury’s best opportunities in the first half, coming forward on corner kicks to just miss on  headers.

Both Greg Conrad ’17 and Kirk Horton ’17 almost scored the decisive goal, but Bowdoin keeper Stevie  Van Siclen was there and regulation ended in a scoreless tie. While Middlebury just could not put one past Van Siclen, Robinson, a team captain, believes the team is generating scoring opportunities.

“We just need to find a way to score a goal in close games like that,” Robinson said. “We have plenty of attacking talent and we’re dangerous on set pieces so the goals will come. We just need to capitalize on our chances.”

Greg Sydor ’17 continued his sensational play between the posts for the Panthers, making a save in each overtime period. After regulation and two 10 minute overtime periods, the hotly-contested battle ended in a scoreless draw. Sydor and the Panthers recorded their fifth shutout in six games and have only conceded one goal all year.

“I think we’re a big, physical team and we defend well in all areas of the field, not just in the back,” Robinson said. “We’ve made that a point of emphasis this year and it’s something that we take a lot of pride in as a team.”

It was a different story in the scoring department for the Panthers on Tuesday when they played host to Hamilton. In the midst of a steady rainfall, the game opened as a wide open affair with neither team showing the ability to control the ball and move it forward effectively. In the 13th minute, the Continentals mounted a quick counter attack that led to the first goal of the game.

The Panthers did not lose their composure though and began to control the game with patience on the ball, probing the Hamilton defense and pressing deep in Hamilton’s half. That pressure paid off twice in the first half when Glaser and Tom Bean ’17 both scored on beautiful volleys to give Middlebury a 2-1 lead going into halftime

The Panthers added two more goals in the second half when Daniel O’Grady ’19 set Conrad up and Robinson fired in a penalty kick to build a comfortable 4-1 lead. Hamilton got one back when Alec Talsania’s shot from 18 yards out slipped through Sydor’s hands and just barely cleared the goalline. Despite Sydor’s uncharacteristic miscue, Middlebury controlled the game and easily held on to win 4-2.

The Panthers move into a tie for fourth place in the NESCAC standings with a 2-1-1 record (5-1-1 overall), and have a chance to move up when they host Colby on Saturday, Sept. 3.