Men’s Soccer: UVM Clinches Home Playoff Game with 2-0 Win Over UNH

Courtesy Vermont Sports Information

BURLINGTON —  The Connecticut River Rivalry added another storied chapter on Wednesday night as the Catamounts clinched a home playoff game in the upcoming America East Tournament. Vermont used a pair of second half goals to get past New Hampshire 2-0 on Senior Night at Virtue Field.

The first half was closely contested as UVM narrowly won the shots battle 6-5, but had its chances early in the period with an up-tempo offensive approach.

In the third minute, Charlie DeFeo had a strong header off of a corner kick by Stefan Lamanna, but the attempt bounced a little too wide. Two minutes later, Lamanna booted another corner kick into the box. After both teams scrambled to the ball, UNH keeper Andrew Pesci (9 saves) tracked it down to evade any Vermont scoring opportunity.

In the 18th minute, Brian Wright came close to getting the Catamounts on the scoreboard. Wright dribbled on the left edgeline of the 18-yard box, redirected his dribble to the right, and then bent a touch shot towards the far post but could not get enough hook on the shot to sneak it into the net.

Eric Venezia (3 saves) made a clutch save for the Catamounts in the 22nd minute. New Hampshire had a breakaway and Venezia made a diving save to keep the scoreboard reading all zeros.

The Catamounts broke through with the first goal of the night in the 63rd minute. From the sideline, Wright tossed a long throw towards the near corner of the six-yard box. Loftur Erikssonwas the first to track and down and headed the pass towards the net. DeFeo stretched out his right cleat and chipped his third goal of the season over a diving Pesci.

In the 85th minute, Vermont added an insurance goal from the left foot of Wright. Shane Haleysent a through ball to Wright past midfield. Wright marched forward into the box, then stopped on a dime to set up a shot. He dribbled to his left and then fired a line drive into the right side of the net for his 10th goal of the year. The senior becomes the third Catamount in program history to record consecutive seasons with at least 10 goals.

UNH tried to get on the scoreboard two minutes after Wright’s goal. The Wildcats set up the offense with a corner kick. Ben Gleditsch tried to blemish the shutout with a shot, but UVM relief goalie Aron Runarsson (3 saves) was there for the stop.

Third-seeded Vermont will host sixth-seeded Binghamton on Saturday (Nov. 5) at 1 p.m. in the America East quarterfinal round. Free live video is available in HD via AmericaEast.TV.