AUBURN, Maine (VT) -- The Knights Men's soccer came up on the losing end of hard-fought battle on the home turf of Central Maine Community College. CMCC capitalized on a pair of VTC defensive mistakes to score twice in 90 seconds toward the end of the first half, and while the Knights delivered a sustained offensive onslaught through the second half, they only found the back of the net once, and fell 2-1 to the Mustangs. VTC drops to 2-1 in Conference play while CMCC climbs to 2-0.
The Mustangs, perhaps buoyed by a win in their opening game the day before, outplayed the Knights in the opening minutes, playing with more intensity, winning more than their share of 50-50 balls, and creating more scoring opportunities. But the Knights did come alive, and most of the first half was battle between two relatively well-matched squads. In the 40th minute the ball became tangled in the feet of a Knight back, and Mustang Abdullah Jashaami deftly extracted it and beat Knights Keeper Alaga Saric (Colchester, VT) for the first score of the match. A mere 75 seconds later, CMCC struck again when the Knight backs, certain the opposing striker was offside, were slow to respond to a dangerous through ball, and Jashaami again found the back of the net.
The Knights played a decidedly better second half, controlling the ball and keeping it in their attacking half for the majority of the time. The Mustangs, primarily on the strength of fast attackers, did have their own opportunities, but it was clearly VTC's half. In the 54th minute, Captain Matt Brien (Colchester. VT) headed home a corner kick from Phil Hepburn (Milton, VT) for his fifth goal of the season. The Knight's attacks continued for the remaining 35 minutes of the match, but with no success finding the net.
"To have 14 shots in the [second] half, and find the net only once says clearly our finishing needs work. So we'll work on that", said VTC Coach Matt Murawski, "And we can't afford to give up two goals early against a quality team like CMCC. We'll change our approach a bit in future matches to put us in a better position early on."
The Knights now take a well-earned week-long break from competition before returning to the pitch for another conference game next Saturday for homecoming against Paul Smiths.