M. soccer falls at home
Chris Pratt ’14 plays a header in a loss to Connecticut College.
The Colby men’s soccer team did not open the 2011 regular season as well as they ended last fall’s.
After fighting to their highest playoff seeding (fifth) in their New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) history, the Mules stumbled out of the gate this past Saturday in their season opener against Connecticut College, who tied for eighth place in the conference last year.
The final score was 2-0 in favor of the Camels, but it belied the closeness and intensity of the competition.
For the first 68 minutes of the game, Colby’s defense, anchored by senior captains Matthew Boyes-Watson and Cory Hendrickson, who manned both outside positions, held stout against a strong Conn. attack.
The Mule defense gave in in the 69th minute when Camel first-year Kevin O’Brien netted his first collegiate goal off an assist from junior defender Winslow Murdoch.
O’Brien wasted no time in recording his second-ever goal, putting a pass from sophomore forward Billy Hawkey behind Colby goalkeeper Ben Joslin ’12 just three minutes later.
The Mules’ offense was unable to get anything going. Connecticut sophomore goalkeeper Casey Marini was untested in the match as none of Colby’s nine total shots were placed on goal.
The Camel attack, meanwhile, kept Joslin busy as he recorded six saves on 20 total shots.
The statistics indicated an intense, aggressive attack on the part of Connecticut College as the Camels doubled the Mules in fouls, 20 to 10, and outpaced them in corner kicks five to one.
Despite the initial bump in the road, the team has high expectations for itself in 2011. The Mules bring back 19 players from last year’s successful team, including leading scorer Nick Aubin ’13, who put in five goals for Colby last fall. Rounding out the roster are a dozen first-years who are eager to contribute to the cause.
Coach Mark Serdjenian, back for his 36th year as coach of the Mules, is enthusiastic about the mix of young players and experienced veterans. “The blend of upperclassmen leadership and youthful energy is exciting for the coaching staff,” he said.
Colby’s next game is this Wednesday against out-of-conference opponent Husson University at 4 p.m. The team’s next NESCAC matchup is a morning game at Middlebury this Saturday, Sept. 17.