BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College men's soccer team came up short Saturday in a 2-1 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) home loss to Regis College at Everett Field.
Pride senior captain Nick Tavares (Bellingham, Mass.) notched what proved to be the game-winner in the 76th minute during a physical second half to help Regis collect its fourth win in a row.
RC controlled the early going, using quick square balls to create opportunities to move forward. Southern Vermont's possessions were short-lived by comparison, as the Mountaineers weren't able to get a shot off until the 41st minute. Despite the Pride controlling play for a majority of the opening half, they couldn't break through to the scoreboard thanks to a stifling SVC defense that forced outside shots and cleared as often as possible.
With halftime looming, Regis broke the scoreless drought with 30 seconds to play as freshman Prince Mukala (Malden, Mass.) ran onto a loose ball 15 yards out and blasted it home for his second goal of the season.
Southern Vermont started the second half with chances for itself after making adjustments during the break, getting into the box and having decent looks. The two sides swapped opportunities as the half wore on. An SVC ejection forced the Mountaineers to play a man down for the final 35 minutes of play; however, they refused to let that be a factor and the hosts continued to transition well and seeing shots at the frame. Tavares then put in his piece of insurance, one that would be much needed, as freshman Don Gomez (Lynn, Mass.) played a ball that found his captain who put home his first of the season.
The Mountaineers increased the dramatics just five minutes later when senior captain Pierre Massena (West Milford, N.J.) ran onto a pass headed for the outside of the box on a breakaway and was fouled by Pride senior keeper Stefan Todorovic (Los Angeles, Calif.), being awarded a penalty kick as a result. Massena buried it for his fourth of the year, fittingly coming on Senior Day and his last match on Everett Field as a Mountaineer. With the score at 2-1, Regis continued to posses in order to run the clock and disallow Southern Vermont from gaining a solid opportunity to tie as the time wore down to the Regis victory.
Todorovic made two saves while picking up the win in net (3-6-2) as Mountaineer sophomore goalie Chris Dunham (Valley Falls, N.Y.) turned away six Pride shots in the losing effort (2-7).
Southern Vermont (3-11-1, 1-4-1 NECC) turns to its final non-conference contest, a 4 p.m. Wednesday match at Middlebury College. Regis (6-8-2, 3-2-1 NECC) concludes its season next Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. home tilt against Mitchell College.
President Karen Gross, Head Coach Jamie Hutchins and Assistant Coach Aaron Eschler pose with the two Mountaineer seniors, their parents and gifts:
Derek Snow (left), Pierre Massena (right)