MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Liam Sloan converted a penalty kick in the 94th minute to lift Middlebury to a 2-1 overtime victory over the No. 11 Connecticut College men's soccer team on Saturday afternoon at South Street Field.
On a counterattack, Max Drazen received a pass from Brandon Reid and bolted towards the net from the right side. Just after he made his way inside the far corner of the box, he was taken down by a Camel defender which resulted in a penalty kick with 6:25 on the clock. Sloan then teed up the ball and buried it into the left corner of the net to give the Panthers the sudden victory.
Despite having a potential goal negated shortly after kickoff due to an offsides call, Middlebury (5-0-2, NESCAC 2-0-2) was still able to quickly draw first blood in just the seventh minute of play courtesy of Reid. After stealing a botched Camel pass from about 40 yards away, the junior bolted down the field and split two defenders before burying a low shot to the left corner of the net.
The Camels, however, had a quick answer and were able to knot the match just 2:11 later when Manny Balbontin (New York, N.Y.) connected with sophomore Augie Djerdjaj (Mahopac, N.Y.). After fooling a Panther defender, Djerdjaj unleashed a shot that made its way past Ryan Grady in the 10th minute. It was also just the first goal conceded by the Panthers all season and ended a shutout streak which lasted 502:51.
Shortly after the Camel strike, the Panthers appeared to possibly have a response of their own to regain the lead when Reid rifled a shot into the upper 90 of the goal from about six yards out. Unfortunately for the hosts, that potential marker was also disallowed and immediately called back because the junior was ruled to be offsides.
Both teams had opportunities to pot a game winner during the second half. Prior to netting the decisive marker, Sloan had an excellent look on a free kick that was stopped by a leaping AJ Marcucci (West Chester, Pa.). Junior Liam Noonan (Malibu, Calif.) had multiple chances for the Camels, but his header off a cross from freshman Jack Marvel (Marion, Mass.) went just wide and another high-percentage shot was blocked by a Panther defender.
After nothing could be decided through 90 minutes, Sloan provided the heroics in overtime by sending home a penalty kick. The decisive marker would keep the Panthers undefeated through seven matches despite being outshot by a 10-6 margin and only getting to attempt one of the match's 10 corner kicks.
Grady picked up his fifth victory of the season by turning away three shots for Middlebury. Marcucci made three saves for the Camels in the setback.
Connecticut College (5-1-1, NESCAC 3-1-1), which was dealt just its first loss of the season, will trek to Williams tomorrow afternoon for a 2 p.m. matinee.