Men's soccer falls in NESCAC quarterfinals
Chris Pratt '14 moves up the field during a recent home game.
The Colby men's soccer team started off the weekend on a high note, finishing off their regular season with a win against Bates. Things quickly turned sour, however, when the Mules lost to Amherst in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) quarterfinals. This loss sadly concludes the season for the Mules. Colby finished the season at 7-7-1 overall and 4-5-0 in the NESCAC.
The game in Lewiston on Friday felt like a home game for the Mules. Some forward-thinking person applied for and received funding to hire a fan bus to Bates, and Colby students seized the opportunity to support their team.
The game started off on the wrong foot, with Bates gaining a sizable shots advantage. In the 15th minute, Bates converted the first of two headers by senior captain Patrick Jackson. Jackson used the side of his face to redirect the ball to the top left shelf. Colby goalkeeper Ben Joslin '12 didn't have a chance to make a play on the ball.
Joslin played a spectacular game in net, making nine saves. But stats don't capture the fact that he saved the game several times with one-on-one saves.
Colby responded late in the first half thanks to Peter Randall '12, who played admirably in his return from an injury. Jeremy Lachtrupp '12 had the assist on Randall's game-tying goal.
During halftime, Colby was re-energized by sliced oranges and Matt Carey's '11 mother's homemade snacks. Nick Aubin '13 tallied for the Mules in the 59th minute, scoring on his own rebound.
Bates made a late comeback, scoring off a corner kick in the 71st minute on the second of two headers by Jackson. Regulation ended in a tie. Colby had gone 1-2-1 in overtime games going into the Bates match. Just eight minutes into overtime, first-year Nate Tolman scored the golden goal, lifting the Mules over Bates 3-2. With this win, Colby secured their highest seed in the NESCAC Men's Soccer Championship since its inception in 2000. The fifth-ranked Mules faced fourth-ranked Amherst on Sunday.
The Amherst game goes in the books as a 3-0 loss for the Mules, but the play on the field says otherwise.
The first goal for the Lord Jeffs occurred midway through the first half. After a blocked Thebe Tsatsimpe shot, a Lord Jeff rocketed the rebound into the net. Colby had several great scoring chances, but they could not capitalize. Brendan Rivard '14 played a long ball to Aubin, who collided with the goalie, leaving the ball all alone in the box. An Amherst defender was the first on the scene and cleared the ball out.
In the second half, Aubin, Rivard and Peter Williams '11 were all involved in a great scoring opportunity. Each had a chance inside the six yard box on shots and rebounds, but the last effort by Williams was just wide. On a potential offside violation, Amherst scored another goal, putting them up 2-0. Amherst added their final goal on a penalty kick.
For the seniors, the loss to Amherst ended their soccer careers at Colby. “Our hats are off to our seniors for the leadership they provided,” Coachâ€ˆMark Serdjenian said, “This team epitomized and lived up to its motto, ‘As One.'” Captains Ben Desmond and Nate Seiberling, Matt Carey, Daniel Sidman, Matthew Vivero, Peter Williams and Stephen Zaharias all suited up for their last game. They will be sorely missed.