NEW LONDON, Conn.-Sophomore Andrew Gonzalez scored a minute and 34 second into the second overtime as the Coast Guard men's soccer team suffered a heartbreaking 1-0 double overtime loss to Babson in their 2013 New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference opener Saturday afternoon at the CGA Track and Field Complex. With the victory Babson improves to 6-2-0 (1-0-0 NEWMAC) on the year while Coast Guard falls to 3-2-1 (0-1-0 NEWMAC).
The first half was a tremendous display of physical soccer as both teams were feeling each other out without taking too many chances. Babson outshot Coast Guard 5-3 and held a 2-0 edge in both corners and offsides, respectively. Coast Guard held a 6-4 lead in fouls and junior Richie Burns made three saves in the first half compared to one by Babson senior Jackson Klein.
The best goal scoring opportunities came late in the first half for each side. After taking a headed ball, senior Joe Bodzewski settled it at his feet and ripped a one-timer from about 10 yards out which went wide with just under four minutes to play. With four seconds until the halftime whistle junior Shawn Citro came screaming down the far side of the field where he took a long pass but the shot was blocked.
Things would remain all square with no more great scoring opportunities until the 90th minute when a heel tap by senior Matt Epperly to classmate Robert Copeland was hit wide of the net from about eight yards out.
It would remain the best scoring opportunity until the game-winner was put home by Gonzalez. A Coast Guard foul gave Babson a free kick from about 25 yards out. Sophomore Tyler Carlos stepped and delivered a ball into the box that Gonzalez found with his head for the game-ender.
Coast Guard played a solid all-around game, matching up very well with the Beavers, a perennial power in New England. For the match Babson held a narrow 11-9 edge in shots and 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. Burns finished the game with four saves for the Bears while Klein finished with four as well for the Beavers.
The fouls (17 against Coast Guard, 11 against Babson) and two yellow cards against Coast Guard played a large role in how aggressive the Bears could play towards the end of the match.
The goal allowed by Coast Guard was just the third they've allowed this season, including just the second that Burns has given up.
Coast Guard returns to action on Tuesday, September 24th when they host Connecticut College at 7:00 pm.