WATERVILLE – The Tufts University men's soccer team played to a 1-1 draw against Colby College on Saturday in a NESCAC matchup at Serdjenian Field in Waterville, Maine.
After trailing 1-0 for nearly 50 minutes, Jumbo senior defender Biagio Paoletta scored a goal with just under four minutes to go in regulation to tie the game at one.
Tufts had possession of the ball for most of the first half and created many opportunities to score, but it was Justin Lauer of Colby who got the Mules on the scoreboard first with a shot from the right side of the box that Lauer sent into the top of the net to make it 1-0. The goal came after some quality chances by Tufts that they could not finish, including an open net header from Calvin Aroh that went just wide right and a great save from Colby goalie Brendan McCarthy getting a hand on a breakaway chip shot from Woovin Shin to save a goal. McCarthy came in for the injured Matt Morin, who started the game at goalie for Colby, in the 32nd minute. Strong defense from both sides kept the score at 1-0 for the rest of the first half.
Tufts goalie Erik Lauta made some crucial saves throughout the second half to keep the Jumbos in the game. Lauta stretched out and dove to block a centering pass in front of the net to disrupt a scoring opportunity and not long after, stepped up and made a sliding save after a Colby player slipped behind the Tufts defense. He also made a great save on a one-time shot directly in front of the goal to once again keep the score at 1-0.
Tufts continued to create opportunities and their first goal came in the 86th minute when Travis Van Brewer sent a corner kick to the middle of the box and Paoletta jumped up and headed it into the back of the net to tie the game late in the second half, sending the game to overtime.
Throughout the two overtime periods, Tufts dominated possession time and their defense did not allow any shots from Colby in either period. The Jumbos had three shots in each overtime period, but the Colby defense blocked many of them, on top of some big saves from McCarthy, including a save on a hard Sean Traynor shot from the left side of the box one minute into overtime. Both defenses were stout throughout the rest of overtime, not allowing any real chances, ending the game in a 1-1 draw.
Tufts had a total of 23 shots while Colby finished with 10, all coming in regulation. Tufts also led in corner kicks by a wide margin as they had 15 corners compared to Colby's two. Tufts' Lauta made four saves in the game, all coming in the second half, and Colby goalies Matt Morin and Brendan McCarthy combined for six saves, one of those being from Morin before leaving the game.
The draw brings the Jumbos to a 5-0-1 record and a 2-0-1 conference record. Colby moves to 2-3-1 overall with a conference record of 1-1-1.
The Jumbos will travel to Babson on Tuesday, and Colby hosts the University of New England on that day as well.
Written by Tim O'Brien, Athletic Communications Intern