The men’s soccer team hosted a pair of games against tough league rivals this past weekend and showed why they are one of the best teams in the nation.

The Yellowjackets used great defense and timely goals to post two victories in three days and clinch the University Athletic Association league title.

On Friday night, the Yellowjackets defeated the Emory University Eagles by a score of 2-1. The first half featured back and forth attacks by the two teams, but the first goal came with just 10 seconds left in the half.

A long throw-in eventually found its way to Eagles forward Chad Chambers in front of the goal. He punched a shot past sophomore and UR goalie Paco Corbalan to give the Eagles the lead and the momentum going into the half.

Most teams would have folded after giving up a late goal, but the Yellowjackets came out in the second half and showed their mettle.

UR won more challenges, created better offensive opportunities and it paid off in the 62nd minute. Senior Gary Stom ripped a shot that Eagles goalie Rohit Agarwal couldn’t smother, while senior Nate Micklos stuffed the rebound in the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.

Six minutes later, Micklos and the Yellowjackets received a golden opportunity that got the crowd on its feet. Off a cross from senior Steve Maltzman, Micklos hit a great header past Agarwal that looked like a sure goal.

However, the ball glanced off the right post and rolled across the entire mouth of the goal.

Unfortunately for UR, no one was there to punch it in and it was eventually knocked out of bounds.

Senior Damian Hallatt gave the Yellowjackets their first lead of the night in the 71st minute. He ripped a picture-perfect shot from the left side that sailed pastthe outstretched arms of Agarwal and into the top right hand corner of the goal. Micklos was credited with the assist, giving him nine for the season.

The Eagles had some good offensive chances in the closing minutes, but Corbalan and the UR defense stood their ground to preserve the win.

Head coach Chris Apple praised his team for not giving up after a sub-par first half.

“At halftime we talked about things like our commitment to winning challenges, our toughness and our heart. I thought the team responded very well in the second half.”

On Sunday, the Yellowjackets hosted Carnegie Mellon and came away with another 2-1 win.

The game opened with CMU generating tons of offensive pressure, but the Yellowjacts’ defense was up to the task and kept the Tartans from scoring.

On the Yellowjackets’ first offensive possession, more than three minutes into the game, senior Jeremy Goico gave everyone something to cheer about. He won a contested ball in the middle of the field and it bounced high into the box.

CMU goalie Matthew Bazin came off his line, but Goico beat him to the ball and struck a low shot that found the back of the net to give UR a 1-0 lead.

The Tartans got even in the 11th minute. They earned a throw-in deep in UR territory, and Daniel Brackley launched the throw into the box.

After UR failed to clear, Matt Wilkinson guided a header past Corbalan to tie the score. The game winning goal came 11 minutes later for the Yellowjackets.

They earned a corner kick, and sophomore Nico Mikolenko curled the kick close to the goalmouth. It found Micklos, UR’s leading scorer and he punched a header past Bazin to give the Yellowjackets a lead they would not relinquish.

That lead was challenged numerous times by the stingy Tartan offense. With 13 minutes left to play in the first half, CMU was given a free kick inside the box.

The entire UR squad formed a wall in front of the goal, and CMU ended up pounding the kick right into the heart of the wall, preserving the lead.

The Tartans had numerous chances in the second half as well, but the UR defensive unit along with Corbalan were stellar in preserving the win.

The wins give UR a 15-0-0 record with one regular season match left. They extended their win streak from last seasonto 19 game. Aside from the UAA title, the Yellowjackets also clinched their fifth straight Eastern Collegiate Association Conference Upstate New York title. They set a school record for wins in a season, a feat that cannot be matched by many.

Corbalan knows, however, that there’s still work to be done.

“Everyone played great, but we’re not satisfied yet,” he said. “We have one more regular season game, and then it’s like a whole new season begins. For now it feels good to let this victory set in, but once practice starts again tomorrow, it’s back to business.”

Moeller can be reached at

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