UR Men’s Soccer had a pair of key UAA matchups on the road over the weekend amid a tight conference race. The ‘Jackets (11–2–3) entered their Friday game at Case Western Reserve University tied for first in the conference at 3–1, alongside the University of Chicago and Brandeis University.

Neither team scored until 44:34, when UR junior midfielder Alec Hay headed in his first goal of the year off a 20-yard cross from sophomore midfielder Josh Cooley.

“Everyone has a job to do on the field and when I realized my job was to get on the end of a cross to the back post, we executed just like we practice,” Hay said.

After 25 more minutes of defensive back-and-forth, Rochester doubled its lead over the Spartans (6–9–2) on senior forward Geoff Rouin’s 12th goal of the season. The goal also came off of a cross, this time from 10 yards out by sophomore defenseman Christian Baltier.

In the final two minutes, the Spartans had three opportunities to score, two missing the goal and one being saved by senior goalkeeper Redd Brown, securing a 2–0 Rochester victory. With the win, the team kept pace with Chicago and Brandeis.

Throughout, the Yellowjacket defense and midfield performed well, limiting opponent attacking space and shots, in which they had an 11–8 edge.

And Brown continued his strong season by stopping all five shots he faced. With his ninth shutout, he set the all-time, single-season record for the program.

The team entered its Sunday game at Carnegie Mellon University on a five game win streak, all by shutout.

The shutout streak would end at 33:31, as Ryan Stinebaugh of the Tartans (10–3–3) beat a Rochester defender to tap in a loose ball off of a rebound.

The ‘Jackets didn’t truly threaten on offense until early in the second half. In the 53rd minute, senior midfielder Stefan Sarkovich had back-to-back corner kicks. On the first attempt, junior defenseman Lucas Loecher was stopped by the CMU goalie, and the second saw junior midfielder Bryce Ikeda miss just to the right of the net.

Rochester was able to finally score at 76:51, when Cooley deposited an endline pass from senior midfielder Alex Di Perna. Di Perna’s pass came from the right sideline, and Cooley received the ball near the post, taking the shot in traffic and beating the goalie inside the post.

After another scoreless 13 minutes, the game went into overtime. Early in the period, the Tartans had a free kick, which was stopped by a punch from Brown. Off the rebound, CMU’s Zack Mascipinto attempted a bicycle kick, but the shot sailed just over the net. He had another shot saved by Brown in the 99th minute.

The game entered a second overtime, after the Tartans controlled possession but failed to score in the first. The ‘Jackets had the ball much more in that second period. In the final seconds of the game, Cooley drew a corner, but time expired, and the game ended in a 1–1 draw.

The outcome was neutral, but the result pushed the ‘Jackets out of first place behind Chicago, which won both games over the weekend. Rochester will play its final regular season game next Saturday at Emory, still with a chance to win the conference.

Tagged: Soccer

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