BENNINGTON, Vt. – Lesley University and Southern Vermont College played to scoreless draw in double overtime this afternoon at Everett Field in the New England Collegiate Conference opener for both sides. The tie moves the Lynx to 2-3-3 overall while the Mountaineers go to 0-7-1 on the year.
Southern Vermont College freshman goalkeeper Cody Gross (Fair Lawn, N.J.) finished with 13 saves to pick up his first collegiate shutout (0-7-1) while his counterpart, junior Chase Donley (Elizabethtown, Pa.) turned away one Mountaineer shot for his third clean slate of the year (2-3-3).
The physical match ended with SVC being called for 13 fouls while the Lynx were caught with 18. Additionally, there were four cautions issued with one ejection resulting from a pair of yellows.
The opening 45 minutes of action were highly contested by both sides with each team getting chances but also providing great defense in their respective penalty areas. SVC nearly got on the board late in the period when senior Erik Argueta (Pico Rivera, Calif.) carried the ball deep into Lesley territory with two minutes on the clock, maneuvering around LU defenders and final Donley. Argueta's angle became too narrow, however, and he was unable to get a shot off at the open frame or pull it back out for a successful cross as the game went scoreless to the break.
A second caution issued just 3:29 into the second half forced Southern Vermont to play with 10 men on the field the rest of the way. Lesley continued to push and had its chances to break the stalemate, but Gross started coming up huge for the Mountaineers and kept the tie alive a handful of times. The first came when Lynx senior captain Jordan Santos (Middlebury, Conn.) got in behind most of the SVC defense and ripped a close-range shot, but Gross made the sliding save while coming off his line. The rebound stayed within the keeper's reach until he finally got enough of his hand on the ball to warrant a foul call when Lesley tried to knock it in the goal.
With about 16 minutes to play in regulation, the Southern Vermont defense needed to and made a tremendous play of its own as the Lynx were once again knocking on the door. LU brought the ball down the right side and into the SVC box before a pass was played across the frame of the net just two yards off the line. With two Lesley players in position to put it home, Southern Vermont senior captain Tommy Youngblood (Leonardtown, Md.) came swooping in and cleared the ball away from the line to keep the match scoreless.
With overtime looming, Lesley persisted with its offensive attacks that created quality chances near the goal. The Lesley bench got its hopes up and started its celebration with under six minutes to go when the Lynx again found themselves deep in the box with excellent looks at net. The excitement quickly turned to despair, however, as Gross came up with point-blank saves on doorstep shots by LU senior captain Herbin Berreondo (Brighton, Mass.) and then junior Ryan Richardson (Santa Barbara, Calif.) who tried to bang home the rebound.
Southern Vermont recorded the only shot on goal in the first overtime period while the Lynx tested Gross twice for the only shots on frame during the final 10 minutes. Time expired as the game concluded as one of the more action-packed scoreless matches soccer fans will ever see.
Both teams will return to the pitch on Wednesday, October 1st as the Lynx will play host to Wentworth at 8:00p while the Mountaineers will travel to The Sage Colleges for a 4:00p start.