Canton Downs Men's Soccer 4-1 in First Round of LINAO Mountaineer Invitational

nikolas joseph dribbles the ball

BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Southern Vermont College men's soccer team hosted the first day of the 2017 LINAO Mountaineer Invitational Saturday afternoon at Everett Field with SUNY Canton and SUNY Oswego garnering victories to play in Sunday's championship round.

In their home opener, the Mountaineers fell 4-1 to the Kangaroos before Oswego downed the Beavers by a 6-1 margin in the nightcap.

SVC (0-4) will take on Farmington (1-1) at 12 p.m. on Sunday in the consolation game, and Canton (1-2-1) will then square off with the Lakers (3-0-1) for the LINAO title at 2:30 p.m.

GAME 1: SUNY Canton 4 – Southern Vermont 1
The Roos got on the board first with a strike in the 11th minute before SVC tied it up less than six minutes later. Canton got one more with just minutes to go before halftime for the slim edge, and the visitors then added two more in the second stanza to pad their cushion for the win.

Mountaineer freshman Jimmy Thach (Phoenix, Ariz.) notched his first collegiate goal—being set up by classmate Esteban De La Cruz (Granada Hills, Calif.).

Four Roo players found the back of the net including senior Erdous Lebron (San Juan, Puerto Rico) who tallied—what proved to be—the game winner. Freshman Hector Martinez (Bakersfield, Calif.) had a goal and an assist in the win.

Canton senior keeper Austin Lemay (Malone, N.Y.) made four saves in his first action of the year (1-0). SVC freshman Dylan Berg (Tampa, Fla.) also made four saves for the Mountaineers during 81 minutes of the loss (0-4).

Martinez put his team in front first when he knocked his second goal of the year into the net—doing so on a free kick that went directly at the top-right corner of the frame, caught the crossbar, and came down over the line.

The Roos were unable to hold the lead for very long as Southern Vermont tied it in the 17th minute of the match. De La Cruz hit a free kick from SVC's own end—a soaring ball that landed and skipped over the Canton backline; Thach snuck in behind as the bounce made its way into the box, and he headed it past Lemay to knot the score at 1-1.

That tie nearly lasted into the halftime stoppage, but the Roos were able to get one to go before the horn. A pass was crossed in from the left side of the pitch before glancing off a Mountaineer defender who was running at it; the ball would find the foot of Lebron who turned and knocked a right-footed volley inside the near, left post.

About six minutes after play resumed, Canton extended its upper hand when a rebound was stuffed home by freshman Omar Qadiri (Fairport, N.Y.). Martinez would later set up junior Kyle Smith (Evans Mills, N.Y.) with a square pass through the middle of the box that allowed Smith to run on and slam it home.

GAME 2: SUNY Oswego 6 – UMaine Farmington 1
Once the Laker offense got going in the second game of the day, it staked a quick four-goal lead that would be big enough to walk into the championship game. Oswego scored in the seventh minute of the match before doubling the advantage less than five minutes later. The Lakers followed with another strike right away and then made it 4-0 just 18:10 into the match. Farmington got one back in the final minute of the first half, but it would fall far short for a comeback as Oswego added two more insurance tallies through the second period.

Laker junior Hassan Musa (Syracuse, N.Y.) tallied two goals and two assists during the victory while sophomore Caleb Asamoah (Accra, Ghana) registered a hat-trick.

Beaver sophomore Jonathan Randolph (Buckfield, Maine) scored the lone Farmington goal of the game off a pass from freshman Jimmy Pelletier (Tipsham, Maine).

Oswego junior netminder Evan Bogucki (Deer Park, N.Y.) made two saves while picking up the win (2-0-1) as his senior counterpart Matthew Wilson (Hamden, Conn.) recorded two stops of his own during 45 minutes between the pipes in the loss (1-1).

Neither team had a strong advantage in the first few minutes of the meeting, but Oswego would take control and start to change the scoreboard. A Musa shot on net from the left side of the box was turned away, but it fell right into the middle of the field where Asamoah was able to run on and put home the second chance. Musa then registered the eventual game winner as he laced a spectacular shot into the upper-left corner of the goal off a free kick from 25 yards out in the middle of the pitch.

Musa would find Asamoah on a square pass from the right to the middle of the box to make it 3-0 in the 14th minute, and Oswego graduate student Tim Ritch (Camillus, N.Y.) headed home another just minutes later when he met a corner kick at the back, left post.

Farmington ended the shutout with less than a minute to go in the opening stanza as Pelletier played a ball up and into the box where Randolph met it after beating his Laker defender; Randolph got a shot off from the right edge as Bogucki came off his line—one that was perfectly placed to end up in the lower left netting.

That would be it for the Beavers, however, as Oswego kept them off the board the rest of the way. Musa helped pad the lead in the 50th with a curled shot over the Farmington keeper, and Asamoah completed the hat-trick with 27:09 to go when he put home a pass off a corner kick from the left side.