Last Chance for Men's Soccer Against Bates
Nearing the end of the 2009 season, the Colby men's soccer team traveled to Connecticut College on Saturday, October 24, with the aim of securing another elusive league victory against the Camels. Eager to put forth their best efforts as the playoffs draw closer, the Colby Mules once again played a sound 90-minute game, only to come up slightly short of a victory. Losing with a score of 1-0, the men absorbed another tough loss, pushing their record to 1-6-1 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) and to 4-7-2 overall.
The Colby defense bunkered down during the game to hold the Camels back, Connecticut's deluge of attacks proved too much for the Mules. Senior goalkeeper Dan Marden successfully racked up a total of 12 saves while in goal. One of the most consistent players for the Mules, Marden keeps the men in contention during every game. In a particularly dangerous challenge from the Camels, Connecticut player Trevor Prophet pushed a through-ball into the Colby box, releasing a shot from a mere 15 yards out. Miraculously, Marden managed to grab a piece of the ball and deflect it off of the line, knocking the ball out of bounds.
In addition to Marden's fine play, first-year player Nick Nowak filled an important role for the Mules against Connecticut as he succinctly redirected much of the Camels' constant offensive drives. Furthermore, the remaining first-year players have also risen to the challenge this season for the Mules. "All four of our freshmen this year have done an awesome job stepping up and taking on a lot of responsibility on the field, and have been a big part of our success," Captain Doug Sibor '10 said.
Unfortunately, the bold force of Colby's defense was not enough to fully dampen the Camels' spirits. In only the 11th minute of regulation play, Connecticut player Brian Morgan skillfully placed a ball down the right side of the field, knocked behind Colby's defense; the through-ball pass was caught by Connecticut player Oscar Brown and powerfully struck into the goal at the near post for the winning score of the game.
Unable to recover after an early blow, Colby was shut out on offense by the Camels. Although working for a few good openings throughout the game, including a few dangerous scoring opportunities within the last 15 minutes of play, the Mules were unable to score. Overall, with 20 shots, the Camels easily outshot Colby who tallied a total of eight shots. Connecticut's goalkeeper Alex Martland recorded his fifth shutout of the season in the game against the Mules, showing the difficulty of facing the defensively strong Camels.
Much of the men's frustration from this game stemmed from the Mules' failure to capitalize on an opportunity to secure a playoff berth when losing this game. Due to the loss against Connecticut, Colby is forced into a need-to-win situation in its last game of the season against Bates College. For the fourth year in a row, this final game against Bates will decide the playoff fate for both teams. Needing to win or tie in order to make the post-season, the Mules surely face the most important game of their season next week at home. Absolutely confident in his team's abilities, Sibor is sure of the result against Bates. "We'll spend this week making'sure we're ready for a good result on Friday and then move on to our first tournament game on Sunday," he said.