Late Goals Sink Men’s Soccer as Salem State Takes Season Opener 2-0

nik joseph lunges for the ball

SALEM, Mass. – The Southern Vermont College men's soccer team nearly forced overtime Friday night, but the hosting Salem State University Vikings potted a pair of late goals at Alumni Field to win the first round of their season-opening tournament by a 2-0 tally.

Despite being held without a shot all game, the Mountaineers still found themselves tied with the defending Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference champions going into the 86th minute. That, however, was when the Vikings broke the scoreless stalemate, and SSU found the back of the net once again just 29 seconds later for a piece of insurance.

The Mountaineers (0-1) will play in Saturday's consolation game with a 1 p.m. kickoff against Anna Maria College.

Southern Vermont freshman goalkeeper Diego Uquillas (Erie, Pa.) came up with eight saves in the loss (0-1). He made three in the first half for the visitors to go into the halftime break still tied with Salem State. The Vikings would have gotten on the scoreboard earlier had it not been for a goal-saving block by SVC junior captain Lee Dennis (Chocorua, N.H.) midway through the second stanza.

Still, the persistent SSU offense controlled possession and eventually got one past Uquillas for a 1-0 lead with just under five minutes left to go in regulation. The Vikings then padded their cushion to advance into the championship round.