Men’s Soccer Rebounds in More Ways than One


Sebastian Sanchez

Drew Goulart ’20 drives dangerously into the Colby-Sawyer box in Middlebury’s 2-1 double overtime win against the Chargers.


The Middlebury men’s soccer team (2–1–0) pleased a large crowd during their first game since students returned to campus with a 2-1 win in double overtime against the visiting Colby-Sawyer Chargers (0–4–0) last Sunday, Sept. 10. Despite edging the Chargers in shots on goal 13–2, it took a late goal at the end of regulation for the Panthers to send the game into what would become a double overtime marathon in which Daniel O’Grady ’19 kicked in the game-winner in the 109th minute.

Colby-Sawyer notched their only goal of the day with 20 minutes left in the first half, taking a 1–0 lead. Denali Sexton pressed hard and fast on a pass from the backline, fading towards the left side and letting a low shot fly to the opposite corner, just beyond the hands of Middlebury goalkeeper Jeremy Yeager ’18. Yeager concluded his third full game with one save, bringing his season total to five.

Despite the fact that the Chargers maintained a 1–0 lead for most of regulation, Middlebury controlled the game throughout. In the 20th minute, Kye Moffat ’19 missed just wide left on a header. Twelve minutes later in the 32nd minute, the crossbar would deny O’Grady the game-tying goal on a 19-yard rip.

After controlling the ball for most of the second half, a scramble in the goal box in the 78th minute resulted in a shot from Goulart that threaded several defenders’ legs but bounced off the right side post, forcing the team into a furious up-tempo style of play with only 12 minutes remaining on the clock and the Chargers leading by one.

Then, in the 81st minute, Peter Davis ’19 headed in his first career goal following a scramble in the box on a corner kick. In the 87th minute, Middlebury nearly took the lead as O’Grady sent a header from six yards into the hands of Charger goalie Sean Babinski. The next opportunity didn’t arise until the second 10-minute overtime half, when Ben Potter ’20 was denied by Babinski on a one-on-one following a through ball.

With just 1:47 remaining in overtime, O’Grady collected a 70-yard pass from Henry Wilhelm ’20 just outside the penalty box and moved quickly in and to the left. He punched a fast, low shot off his left foot, beating the hands of Babinski and leaving the Panthers on top.

“We feel like we have a lot of depth this year, especially in the midfield,” Yeager said. “A lot of guys who are confident with the ball at their feet. We are hoping that we can use that to unlock opposing defenses and threaten in front of goal. We had a pretty big senior class graduate last year, so there are a lot of spots up for grabs. It’s an opportunity for guys to step up and take advantage of the opportunity.”

The non-conference win leaves the Panthers with a 2–1 record after defeating Norwich 3–1 on Wednesday, Sept. 6 and suffering a 2–1 loss to Connecticut College on Saturday, September 9. Middlebury heads to Massachusetts to face rival Amherst College (1–0–0) this Saturday, Sept. 16.