Men's Soccer Falls in NESCAC Quarterfinal to Colby on Penalty Kicks

MEDFORD – Colby College advanced past Tufts via penalty kicks on Sunday afternoon at Bello Field in a NESCAC Quarterfinal match in front of a large crowd. The game was a tie, 0-0, after regulation and two overtimes.

Biagio Paoletta played well for the Jumbo defense

Tufts (13-0-3) came into the contest as the No. 1 seed having gone unbeaten (8-0-2) through the NESCAC regular season. Colby (7-6-3) came into the game as the No. 8 seed.

The Jumbos had a great chance in the fifth minute as junior midfielder Brett Rojas penetrated down the middle and dished it back to junior midfielder Zach Lane who had his shot stopped by Colby goaltender Dan Carlson. Lane found the ball in the middle of a scrum in front of the net and booted it just right of the goal. Colby midfielder Asa Berolzheimer had the Mules' best look of the half in the 15th minute, but his attempt went to the right of the net.

The pace of the game was up tempo and both defenses were active as there were six shots blocked over the course of the first 20 minutes of action. Tufts freshman back Ian Daly had a right-footed shot set up by junior midfielder Gavin Tasker that was saved by Carlson to keep the game even at 0-0. The Jumbo offense continued to attack when Tasker had a look off his right foot that Carlson denied once again.  

The Jumbos applied more pressure towards the end of the half when Aidan Welsh and Mati Cano each had a shot on goal, but both were saved by Carlson. Tufts midfielder Jack Delaney had the final shot of the half when he tried to head one in, but the shot was stopped.

In the first half, the Jumbos attempted 15 shots to the Mules' seven. Carlson collected six saves through the first 45 minutes of action. Colby generated two corners to Tufts' one. Both defenses were stingy and possession was tough to come by.

Rojas had the first shot on goal out of halftime in the 49th minute when he received a pass from junior forward Joe Braun, but Carlson made a great play on the ball to record the save. Colby came right back a minute later when forward Jeff Rosenburg put a shot on net that was stopped by Jumbo senior goalie Conner Mieth. Lane in the 52nd minute came down the field with a left-footed shot. The ball was saved, but bounced to the foot of Braun who put a shot high over the net. Rosenberg had another good look in the 58th minute on the right side of the field that Mieth stopped.

The pace slowed down after the Rosenburg shot as both teams looked to regain the possession edge. Delaney serviced in a corner in the 68th minute that found the head of freshman back William Raphael, but the header went just high. Three minutes later, Tufts sophomore back Derek Enge had a right-footed boot that hit the crossbar and bounced out.

Berolzheimer sent a ball into play in the 76th minute as the Mules looked to break the tie, but the Jumbo defense cleared it. Tasker came up the middle of the field in the 85th minute and touched a pass over to Braun who had a shot saved. The ball bounced back to Braun off Carlson, but Braun missed the follow-up as the Jumbos continued to get good looks. The final good look of regulation was a cross from the left side that Braun rifled just high of the goal.

Colby attempted the first shot of overtime as forward Lucas Pereira shot from the right side and was high. Tufts generated two corner kicks in the first overtime. Rojas took the first corner and sent the ball in to Braun who put the shot high of the goal.

Tasker sent a great ball through the Mule defense that found the foot of Rojas, but his shot went high again in the 107th minute. Delaney took a Jumbo corner and serviced it in and it found the foot of Rojas who had his shot stopped on a great effort from Carlson. Braun had the final shot of double overtime sending it right of the goal.

With no score through the first 110 minutes, the game went to penalty kicks in which Mieth was in net for Tufts while Matt Johnson was in the goal for Colby. The Mules won the penalty shootout by a 3-2 margin.

For the game, Tufts recorded 39 shots (10 on goal) to 11 (two on goal) for Colby. Carlson had a game-high 10 saves while Mieth stopped two shots. The Jumbos generated eight corners to the Mules' three. Lane and Rojas each put two shots on goal for Tufts.

Tufts will now wait for an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament. Colby will move on to the NESCAC Semifinal where they will face Amherst. The top three seeds (Tufts, Connecticut College, Middlebury) all failed to advance in the tournament.


Written By Athletic Communications Intern Bryan Costello