WENHAM, Mass. – Junior midfielder Josh Cochran scored the game-winning goal in the 11th minute assisted by senior midfielder Caleb Cole for the Gordon College men's soccer team during a 1-0 victory over visiting Tufts University Wednesday in Wenham, Massachusetts.
|Bruce Johnson only gave up one goal in his first start since Oct. 20, 2015|
The Jumbos (0-2-1, 0-0-1 in NESCAC) applied a tremendous amount of pressure in the final minute trying to generate the equalizer and force overtime. The Jumbos earned three corner kicks in the final minute, and their best chance came on the second one, when senior back Daniel Sullivan recorded a header shot but was denied by a great reflex save by Fighting Scots senior goalkeeper Josh Spoonhour.
Spoonhour (3-1-1) made five saves en route to earning his first shutout this season for the Fighting Scots (3-1-1, 0-0-1 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference). Junior goalkeeper Bruce Johnson made his debut this season in net for the Jumbos, as he made a pair of saves and relinquished one goal. Johnson's last start came on Oct 20, 2015, as he recorded a shutout against Keene State, 3-0, en route to earning his third collegiate win.
The two teams came out conservative, as neither team generated any quality chances in the opening 10 minutes. Cochran's game-winner was the first shot of the game, and it came off a free kick by Cole just outside the 18-yard box.
Freshman midfielder Brett Rojas generated some chances later in the half, as he fired a shot in the 28th minute but it went over the net. He fired a shot on goal from outside the penalty box less than two minutes later, but was denied by a strong save by Spoonhour. Rojas continues to impress in his rookie season, as he registered a game-high four shots, with one being on target. He also placed some well-orchestrated through balls during the course of the game.
Freshman midfielder Michael Cuocci made a series of nice agility moves to break into the box with about 13 minutes remaining in the first half, but Johnson made a phenomenal save from point-blank range to keep the Jumbos within one.
The Jumbos outshot the Fighting Scots, 4-3, in the first half and held a 2-0 advantage in terms of corner kicks.
The Jumbos started to get desperate for the tying goal in the second half, as they increased their degree of pressure and started to control the pace of play. The Jumbos held an 11-2 shot advantage and a 7-2 corner-kick advantage in the second frame.
Junior midfielder Kevin Halliday fired a shot less than two minutes into the second but it was blocked. Senior forward Gaston Becherano recorded a shot off a header, but that was denied by Spoonhour. Becherano posted two shots, with one on goal, and Halliday fired two shots.
The Fighting Scots nearly went ahead by a two-goal margin in the 49th minute, as Cole's long-range shot barely went over the crossbar.
Johnson made an aggressive play with 20 minutes left, as he took the initiative to come out of his net to grab a dangerous through ball by Cole. Freshman midfielder/back Zachary Trevorrow, who fired two shots and one shot on goal, registered a strong chance in the 74th minute, and Spoonhour answered by deflecting the shot out of bounds. The Jumbos were awarded back-to-back corner kicks, but the Fighting Scots were able to clear both out of the penalty box.
The Jumbos defense continues to be their calling card, as they have only allowed three goals in three games. The squad will be back in action for their home opener Saturday at 2:30 p.m. against Bates at Bello Field. The squad will also host Plymouth State Sunday at 2:30 p.m., and then will be on the road Saturday (Sept. 24) for a matchup against Brandeis at 7 p.m.