POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - An overtime tip with less than two minutes to play sealed a season-opening victory for the Vassar College men's soccer team as junior Hawkins Barratt Heitmann nabbed his first tally of the year in a 1-0 win over Western Connecticut State University on Friday evening. The Brewers are now 1-0 while the Colonials slip to 0-1 on the young season.
Junior goalie Daniel Szabo (Trumbull, CT) made four saves in nearly 99 minutes of work, narrowly missing his first clean sheet of the season.
"We played well after battling against each other for two weeks in pre-season camp," stated WestConn assistant coach Prince Ojok. "We did a lot of good things against a strong side tonight.
It was a back-and-forth battle throughout the contest until the overtime session, as the homestanding Brewers finally capitalized on one of their five shots on goal with under two minutes remaining in the extra session. Following a foul on the far side deep in the Western Connecticut State zone, sophomore midfielder Eamon Geraghty took the free kick, launching the ball into a crowded middle. Battling just past the left side of the goalie, Barratt Heitmann tipped the ball in for the game-winner in the 99th minute.
Both teams had a number of outstanding changes in the contest, including in the first half as first year forward Robert Sam (East Hartford, CT) dribbled deep into the Vassar end, sending a point-blank shot in on net. Senior captain and goalie Will Marment made an outstanding diving save to preserve the shutout.
The Brewers nearly got on the board early in the second half as sophomore midfielder Quinn Tunnell fired in a long ball, which was tipped up and out over the crossbar by Szabo. VC rookie Owen Fauth also had an outstanding chance late in the second half as the WestConn goalie lost the ball. Fauth had a beat on it, but was unable to get past the Colonials defender, who kicked it out of danger.
Vassar's only other opportunity before the overtime session came from Barratt Heitmann as he laid down an incredible header, which Szabo saved right in front to send it to OT.
The Brewers posted a 10-6 advantage in shots for the contest, while the Colonials owned a 5-3 edge in corner kicks.
Marmet earned his victory with a three-save effort, while Szabo made four stops for WestConn.
The Colonials continue their road trip on Monday when they travel to St. Joseph's of Long Island for a 1 pm Labor Day tilt with the Eagles. Vassar returns to action on Sunday when it welcomes Mount Saint Mary for a 5pm tilt on Gordon Field.