The men’s soccer team started the 2007 season off with a solid four games.

After splitting their first two games of the season at the Flower City Tournament, they earned a second win and took a game against St. Lawrence University into double overtime, resolving in a tie. The results bring UR’s record to 2-1-1.

This weekend, the ‘Jackets took a road trip to Upstate New York. On Friday, the team faced off against the St. Lawrence Saints, who were ranked 23rd in the NSCAA/adidas rankings.

“St. Lawrence is a quality side. They have outstanding athletes and plenty of depth,” head coach Chris Apple said. “They are very similar to our UAA competition, so it is great to face them early to prepare for conference play.”

Midway through the first half, UR made the first move and took a 1-0 lead thanks to a goal from sophomore midfielder Scott Cady off a pass from senior midfielder Patrick Ripp. The Yellowjackets took this lead into halftime, but the Saints responded quickly after the second half started with a goal at 46:53.

St. Lawrence took the lead at 62:16, but, with less than eight minutes left in regulation time, junior forward Sean Hantes tied the score to save the ‘Jackets, netting one off an assist from junior midfielder Dominic Pellingra.

Senior Paco Corbalan started the game in the goal and made one save while allowing two goals. At 62:49, sophomore Michael Peacock entered the game and made four saves over 42 minutes of regulation play and overtime play.

“Mike had an outstanding game. He made three critical saves – two reaction saves from close range and a shot from distance that was heading for the far corner that he had to fully extend for to tip around the post,” Apple said. “He also controlled his area well on crosses and managed the game like an experienced keeper.”

At the end of the game, no decision was made, and the score was left tied, 2-2.

“We were pleased with our performance versus St. Lawrence but disappointed in the result,” Apple said.

“We had several outstanding chances that we failed to convert – we hit the crossbar and their goalkeeper made multiple saves. On the other hand, we trailed late in the game 2-1 and were able to come back which showed real resolve.”

On Saturday, UR met Clarkson University in an effort to add a game to the win column.

Still high off of his clutch goal from the night before, Hantes scored early off an assist in the penalty area from senior Nick Mikolenko at 3:40.

“Sean has played well all season… Like all forwards, he gets the recognition for the goals, but he does so much more for the team than score,” Apple said.

“His ability to connect passes and set up teammates is excellent and he worked extremely hard in off-season to improve his work on the defensive side of the ball and it has made a huge difference for the team,” he added.

No other goals came from the Yellowjackets throughout the game, but the one from Hantes was enough, as Corbalan made two saves to shut out Clarkson.

“Clarkson was a tough opponent because they competed for every ball all game long,” Apple said. “They play hard, they scrap for loose balls, they foul if they need to and they make it very tough to find a rhythm. I give our guys credit for maintaining their patience and focus on the second day of a long road trip against two tough teams.”

Last year, the Yellowjackets were knocked out of the NCAA tournament in the second round. With a strong performance early on, UR looks to improve last year’s results.

“I like the way the team is progressing so far. One area we continue to focus on improving is our performance inside both penalty boxes,” Apple said.

“We want to continue to get better every day and every week with the goal of peaking at the end of the season,” he added.

This weekend the ‘Jackets continue their stretch of away games by traveling to Hobart College. On Tuesday, Sept. 18, they play Nazareth College at Nazareth. They return home for their first home match since the Flower City Tournament on Sunday, Sept. 23 with a game against Salisbury University.

After all these matches, the Yellowjackets finally begin their stint against University Athletic Association teams on Saturday, Sept. 29 at Brandeis University.

Philbrick is a member of the class of 2009.

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