It was a real men's soccer battle at Wachenheim Field Saturday.
Skidmore College took some good shots in the first half. Unfortunately, Union College produced a little more firepower in the second half. The result was a 4-1 Union Liberty League decision over the Thoroughbreds on Senior Day.
Entering the match in a two-way tie for third in league play and with a playoff berth on the line, Skidmore (10-5-2 overall) saw its season end with a 4-3-1 league mark. The Dutchmen (12-4) improve to 5-3 and get a spot in the four-team field.
"It was total domination in the first half," Skidmore coach Ron McEachen said. "In the second half, don't know what happened. I told them the first 10 minutes just to hang on, then manage the game and we just didn't do it."
What happened in the second half game came in an approximately seven-minute stretch starting about nine minutes into the period. Union forward Dean Constant put a rebound off the crossbar past Thoroughbred goal keeper Eli Kisselbach to make it a 1-1 contest.
The goal erased Skidmore's 1-0 halftime lead that came when Adam Beek got the ball past two Dutchmen defenders and drilled a shot past goal keeper Ryan Carter. It was Beek's third goal of the season.
Just three minutes after the equalizer, Benjamin Golub put the Dutchmen ahead to stay. He took a shot on a restart from Kevin Janson that caromed off the far post into the net. A Sebastiaan Janson penalty kick, his 20th goal of the season made it a 3-1 advantage.
"You can X and O all you want, but a lot of it is just about trying real hard and being passionate," Union coach Jeff Guinn said of the second half attack. "I said we had 45 minutes left and do you want to go for it - they (Dutchmen) said yes."
"They made it a little more difficult, whatever they did," McEachen said. "They still got behind us and that's not good. We couldn't get a hold of the ball and couldn't get it right, so it's disappointing."
A Nick Vozzzella goal with just 24 seconds left in the match finished the scoring.
Skidmore's Alex Amini
The physical contest saw a combined 52 fouls called and nine yellow cards.
"It's always competitive," Guinn said of the matchup. "But this one had a special finality to it, since whoever lost was done for the year, so I think that added to the intensity.
"We came out flat and I don't know why you would come out flat for a game that would end your season if you lost. The mark of a good team is when you turn a switch when you can. We tell teams you can't turn a switch, but sometimes you can."
Kisselbach had two saves for Skidmore, while Carter stopped six shots for the Dutchmen. The Thoroughbreds finished the contest with a 12-11 shot margin and a 4-1 corner kick advantage.
It was the final game for seven Thoroughbred seniors. Tyler Masters, Marcus Goldbas, Alex Amini, Aaron Krepack, Joe Phalen, Ike Okpoebo and Brian Mitko finished their Skidmore careers with the setback.
"They (Union) came out, had great intensity and we just didn't match it," McEachen said. "But as I told them (Thoroughbreds), I'm proud of them for the season, to walk off, be proud and we'll look forward to next season."
ON THE WIRE