Men's soccer 2-2 since big upset
Colby senior Peter Williams dribbles by a defender. The Mules recently took wins over UMF and Tufts while falling to Amherst and Thomas.
The Colby men’s soccer team played four games over the past fortnight. Colby put together a 2-2-0 record over the stretch and went 1-1-0 in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC), bringing their record to 6-5-1 overall and 3-4-0 in the NESCAC.
In their first game since the memorable victory over Middlebury, Colby took a win over the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF). The Beavers contained Colby in the first half but couldn’t hold down the Mules in the second half, as the offense exploded for three goals in a 12-minute stretch.
The Mules survived a scare early in the second half. After dominating the first half but being unable to finish between the posts, Colby had an own goal on a failed clear from the box. To save the player from public humiliation, we will not print junior Cory Hendrickson’s name here, but said Colby player attempted an acrobatic clear that only karate-trained Steve Zaharias ’11 should have tried. The ball deflected backwards toward the net instead of going in the intended direction, catching the Colby team—especially goalkeeper Ben Joslin ’12—off guard. Colby found themselves down 1-0 to a team that brought its B-game to the show.
Yet the own goal served as the focal point of the Mules’ resurgence. Donny MacMaster ’13, Nick Aubin ’13 and Chris Pratt ’14 made sure that Colby prevailed. Five minutes after the embarrassing own goal, MacMaster dangled a bit and creamed a shot past UMF goalie (no joke) Tennessee Peters. Aubin followed with a goal less than five minutes later after receiving a skillful pass from MacMaster. Pratt tallied in the 79th minute with an assist from the ever-creative Andrew Meisel ’13.
Next up for the Mules was Tufts. The Jumbos gave up an early goal and then played decently. Despite an advantage in corner kicks (four to one) and shots (nine to eight), the Tufts team failed to execute and make the crisp passes for which they are so well-known. Scoring for Colby was Meisel. He received an accurately struck ball from the recovering Hendrickson on the left side of the pitch. Meisel beat the defender to the inside and the goalie to the far post, tallying his second goal of the season.
The midweek game on the twelfth of October was one to forget. The Mules have a history of crushing Thomas College in the friendly Elm City Bowl, but the uniquely named Terriers found that southwest Waterville magic late in the game. The Mules led 1-0 on a Meisel goal from a Nate Seiberling ’11 pass with only six minutes to go in the game. However, the Terriers, who are comprised of 23 first-years and two juniors (interestingly, 40 percent of whom are international students), did not back down. With less than three minutes to play, a kid from Canada passed the ball to a guy from the United Kingdom, who scored. The same Brit scored in the second overtime, handing Colby its first loss to Thomas since 1992.
Colby closed out the week with a 1-0 loss to Amherst in the last minute of double overtime. Going into the game, Colby and Amherst were tied for fourth in the NESCAC standings, so this loss may prevent Colby from hosting a home NESCAC tournament game. Colby had given up 16 goals to Amherst over the past three years, so one aim of this year’s Mule squad was to limit those goal-scoring opportunities.
Amherst had a solid season last year and has since proven that it was no fluke. Before the game against Colby, Amherst had only allowed four goals, mostly thanks to the lockdown defense of captain Chris Skayne ’11. Amherst also brought an intimidation factor that no other team can claim: the highest GPA of any soccer team of any college in the U.S.
Amherst kept the pressure on for most of the game. Colby had to call heavily upon their defense—anchored by starters Matt Boyes-Watson ’12, Nick Nowak ’13, Hendrickson, captain Ben Desmond ’11 and the athletic prowess of goalie Joslin to keep them in the game. Nate Tolman ’14 had one of Colby’s best opportunities to score with only a few minutes left in regulation. After a missed penalty shot, Tolman broke free after the ensuing goal kick, but he lifted the ball over the crossbar.
The Mules only have two more games left. Both are league games and will prove decisive to Colby’s playoff chances. Next week the Mules play host to the Camels of Connecticut College. Come down and show your support.