Men’s Soccer Fights For Comback Victory

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Men’s Soccer Fights For Comback Victory

By Andrew Rigas

After coming back to defeat Wesleyan 2-1 the week before, the Middlebury men’s soccer team had a similar performance on Saturday, Oct. 17, shocking Trinity 2-1 behind Kirk Horton’s ’17 two goals, including the game-winner just over seven minutes into overtime.

From the whistle, neither team controlled play in the opening minutes.  But off a Panther foul in the 9th minute, Trinity’s Sam Milbury lined up for the free-kick from 35 yards out, and blew it by the Middlebury keeper Greg Sydor ’17.

That confidence displayed itself on the field as they started to control the game and move the ball forward dangerously. In the 14th minute, Adam Glaser ’17 blasted a shot from the edge of the box that hit the crossbar and bounced out. A little over six minutes later, center forward Greg Conrad ’17 set Tyler Bonini ’16 up with only Bantam goalkeeper Domenic Quade to beat, but Quade’s kick save kept his team ahead. Quade made another brilliant save on Daniel O’Grady ’19, who repeatedly sliced through the defense with impressive footwork and touch, left-footed strike, diving and corralling the shot attempt.

“[Trinity] just had the one free kick,” Horton said. “We created enough opportunities in the first half. We just had to keep doing what we were doing.”

Middlebury continued to possess the ball the majority of the time in the second half, and threatened to score a number of times early on. The Panthers, and the crowd, thought they had tied it up in the 60th minute, only for the referee to call the goal back on a foul, one of 44 in the contest.

“The NESCAC is a very tough conference,” Horton said. “This game was aggressive and physical. We can’t let the referees change the way we play.”

The Panthers persisted, and with a little under thirteen minutes to go, Glaser sent a free kick from 45 yards that Horton tapped in, knotting the game at one.

In overtime, the Panthers attacked aerially and the seemingly inevitable happened in the 98th minute when Glaser’s corner kick found its way to Horton who brought it to his feet and shot the game-winning goal.

The epic 2-1 victory moved the Panthers to 5-2-1 in the NESCAC, and gave them sole possession of second place in the NESCAC.

Middlebury was home again on Tuesday, Oct. 20 when they hosted Plymouth St., completely dominating en route to a 5-0 win.

The Panthers wasted no time exerting themselves as Glaser found Bean on a corner kick to take an early lead in the seventh minute. Conrad then held off a defender and fed Horton down the side who fed Bonini for a tap-in goal and 2-0 lead going into the half.

Glaser and Conrad took over in the second half to seal the 5-0 win for Middlebury. Conrad tallied his fifth and sixth goals of the season, while Glaser added his seventh goal and tenth assist of the season. With that assist, Glaser set the program’s single season assist record, breaking Josh Shapiro’s 20 year old record of 9.

The team will take their 10-2-1 record to Lewiston, Maine on Saturday, Oct. 24 to play Bates.

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Men’s Soccer Fights For Comback Victory