It was a fitting end for the best senior class in the history of UR men’s soccer.
Freshman Tyler Green headed home across from senior Brandon Laws in sudden death overtime to give UR a 2-1 victory over SUNY Geneseo Sunday at Hobart College in the finals of the ECAC Northeast Regional Champion. The Yellowjackets seniors ended their careers with their 55th win, a school record, and as ECAC champion for the fourth consecutive year.
“It was a great way to end the season, but in a way it is sad that it is coming to an end. This was a special group to coach,” Head Coach Chris Apple said.
The ECAC playoffs proved to be a coming out party for Green, who had three goals in games over the weekend.
“I knew it would happen sooner or later,” Apple said of Green’s offensive outburst. “He had been showing flashes in practice so it was just a matter of time.”
UR got off to a slow start on Saturday against SUNY Plattsburgh. Neither team scored in an evenly played first half. But in the second half, UR took over against a team that was ranked in the top 20 nationally earlier in the year.
The Yellowjackets scored some of their most brilliant goals of the season over the weekend in Apple’s estimation. Junior Nate Micklos netted his fifth game winning goal of the year with a one-time blast from the top of the box that Apple said he ‘pasted’ past Plattsburgh goalie Jeff Giammattei.
Micklos scored again on Sunday, this time off a header from senior Nick Wheeler. Geneseo tied it up with 13 minutes left off a corner kick to send it into overtime.
Green was named the tournament’s most outstanding player for his offensive prowess. Wheeler won the award last year while Jacque Appleby and Dan Ruegg both UR alums, won the award in 2000 and 2001 respectively.
As UR looks forward to next year, Apple praised the play of Damian Hallatt and Steve Maltzman during the ECAC’s. “Damian was definitely the man of the match [in the Plattsburgh game],” Apple said. “We couldn’t break through in the first half, but in the second Damian got behind the defense and whipped several serves from the right-flank.”
“Maltzman was a stud,” Apple said.
UR capped the season with a 14-4-2 record, tying the school record. The team was successful off the field as well. The National Soccer Coaches Association of America announced that UR had the highest GPA – 3.51 out of 4.0 – for any team in the nation.
Rybaltowski can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.