Men’s Soccer: Norwich uses three first half goals to power past UMass-Boston, 3-1
NORTHFIELD, Vt. – The Norwich men's soccer team scored three first half goals en route to a 3-1 victory over fourth-seeded UMass-Boston in the ECAC New England Tournament Quarterfinals on Wednesday at Howard Field.
Junior forward Garrett Shufelt (Clifton Park, N.Y.) continued his knack for finding the back of the net during the 2011 postseason with a world class strike from 35 yards out in the 15th minute. Shufelt took a pass from Ryan Robertson (Northfield, Vt.) on the right wing, turned to his left and fired a shot that beat UMass-Boston goalkeeper Brycen Dowd over his head to the far post and gave Norwich a 1-0 lead.
"The first round of the ECAC Tournament can be tough sometimes because you have guys that are excited to still be playing, but still somewhat disappointed that they aren't playing in the NCAA Tournament," Norwich head coach Kyle Dezotell said. "However, Garrett scoring that unbelievable goal certainly kick started us because we were lacking energy at that point. After we got that first goal, that spurred us on to get the other two and essentially win the game."
Norwich (12-9-0, 6-4-0 GNAC) stretched its lead to 2-0 exactly five minutes later when sophomore midfielder Anthony Amell (Northfield, Vt.) headed home a free kick service from freshman midfielder Chris Bristol (Clinton, Conn.). Amell's header beat Dowd, who dove to his right, but couldn't quite get his hand to the ball to knock it away.
Campbell served the ball from midfield to just inside the 18-yard box where Keslin flicked the ball over the top of Dowd and tucked it just under the cross bar to make it 3-0 in the 30th minute.
"We harp on the guys to focus and execute on the things that we're good at and scoring goals off set pieces is one of them," Dezotell said. "In a game like today where there wasn't a lot of energy out there for either team at times, it's important to execute on the things you're good at."
UMass-Boston (11-6-0, 3-4-0 Little East) got on the board in the 57th minute when the Beacons' leading scorer Stefanos Galouzis beat Norwich goalkeeper Alex Toomey (Anchorage, Alaska) on a header off an assist from Luis Saquich.
UMass-Boston outshot Norwich 21-18 and had five corner kicks to NU's four. Toomey picked up his fourth win of the season after turning aside eight shots to improve to 4-5-0 on the year. Dowd made five saves for UMass-Boston.
"I don't think this was necessarily the best 90 minutes we have played all season, but the execution and the focus in the first half was enough to get us the win," Dezotell said. "We didn't play that well, but it's really important that we have learned how to win those games. Learning to win games is not easy, but it seems like this team has kind of figured that out and we look for that in the future now."
Norwich improved to 2-0 all-time against UMass-Boston with the only other meeting before today coming in 2001. The Cadets won 4-0.
The Cadets now advance to the ECAC New England Tournament Final Four where they will meet No. 1 Brandeis on Saturday at Brandeis in the semifinals. Match time is set for 12 p.m.
Fellow GNAC member and No. 2 Albertus Magnus face third-seeded Castleton State in the other semifinal on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The winners will meet Sunday at 12 p.m. in the ECAC New England Tournament Championship game.
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