DARTMOUTH, Mass. – Despite playing a man up in both overtime periods, the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) men's soccer team settled for a 0-0 draw with the Corsairs of UMass Dartmouth (UMD), in a non-conference match on Cressy Field Wednesday evening.
The teams played a scoreless first-half, with both goalies displaying their athleticism in the net, while the perimeter defenses stayed locked in with the ball in enemy territory. The Blue Jays best chance late in the contest came as junior midfielder Mergim Kutllovci (Thomaston, Conn.) drew a hard foul in traffic inside the box in the 87th minute, setting up a penalty kick for senior forward DeAnte Anderson (Bloomfield, Conn.), who was 6-for-7 on penalty kicks in his career coming in. Anderson stutter-stepped before striking for the top-right corner of the net, only it was stopped dramatically by UMD senior goalkeeper Jake Castro (Swansea, Mass.).
Following the big save, it appeared the home team might have some late-game momentum, only a red card moments later in the 90th minute on a slide tackle set up a free kick from 10-yards out with seconds to play. The Corsairs were under pressure once again, however the ball was successfully headed out by the hosts. The Blue Jays had time for one last corner kick in regulation, but a header with two seconds on the clock from a streaking Anderson sailed just over the cage, landing on top of the netting to end period.
In extra time, both teams refused to give in. Credit the Corsairs for hanging tough despite playing 11-on-10. With Castro igniting them in goal, the teams played to a second overtime period. The Blue Jays had numerous opportunities, with well-placed balls from Kutllovci and sophomore forward Dane Stephens (Jamaica), but the visitors could not find the back of the net. One last free kick from midfield looked like a miracle waiting to happen as time was about to expire, but the ball bounced wide at the last moment.
Score: Saint Joseph 0, UMass Dartmouth 0 (F/2OT)
Records: USJ 2-1-1, UMD 2-1-1
Location: Cressy Field | Dartmouth, Mass.
COACH QUOTE [Paul Wright] "I was happy with the effort and the performance. We created numerous opportunities, but tonight we lacked quality in the final third. I'm confident that as long as we continue to create those kinds of opportunities, we will get the results we want."
- First tie of the season for both teams, and the fourth in program history for USJ.
- The Blue Jays scored 11 goals in their first two matches. They have not scored since.
- Saint Joseph doubled up UMass Dartmouth on shots, 22-11, and on corner kicks, 10-5.
- Back-to-back overtime games for the Corsairs.
NUMBER TO KNOW
1 – This marks the first match in program history in which the Blue Jays tied a non-conference opponent. USJ is 10-4-1 all-time in non-conference play.
USJ – Sophomore goalie Jose Miguel Garcia Martin (Madrid, Spain) was active in the cage Wednesday, picking up three saves in the full 110 minutes of play (1-1-1).
UMD – Castro (0-1-1) willed his squad on despite being a man down, making the key saves when it mattered most. He had seven on the night in 110 minutes of action between the pipes.
The Blue Jays are headed home for a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) matchup against Dean College on Saturday, September 18. Kickoff is expected at 3:00 p.m. on the USJ Soccer Field.
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