BURLINGTON, Vt. – The Niagara men’s soccer team extended its unbeaten streak to five games after playing the New Hampshire Wildcats to a scoreless tie in the Smith Barney Classic on Friday afternoon.
After 90 minutes of physical battle and the score deadlocked at zero, the teams headed into extra time. The Purple Eagles (3-0-2) dominated play in overtime, outshooting the Wildcats (2-2-1) 2-1, however the team was unable to extend its win streak to four games.
“The team battled hard today in a tough game against a very organized New Hampshire team,” head coach Chase Brooks said. “The guys just lacked that bit of quality in front of the goal and we weren’t able to come away with the winner. I’m proud of the team’s defensive effort though, for their first shutout of the year. Now we’re looking forward to preparing for Sunday’s game against Vermont and hopefully we can bounce back from today and come away with a win.”
In the first 45 minutes of play, the Wildcats charged out of the gate offensively as New Hampshire held a seven to two shot advantage. Senior goalkeeper Brett Petricek made four saves in the half, while his counterpart, Travis Worra stopped two Niagara shots.
Petricek’s best save of the half came in the 32nd minute when senior Charlie Roche raced in on a one-on-one, attempting to sneak a low shot underneath his diving body, but Petricek deflected the ball wide to keep the game scoreless heading into the second half.
After being limited in its shots in the first half, Niagara turned things around in the second 45 minutes of action, outshooting the Wildcats 10-8, however, they were unable to find the back of the net.
Senior forward Bryan Da Cruz and junoir midfielder Ken Cooper each put three shots on the frame, while midfielders Jacob Ohlin and Julian Ekeze combined for four looks on goal.
For Petricek, this marked his first shutout of the season, registering a season-high eight saves in 110 minutes of play.
The Purple Eagles will return to action for their second game of the Smith Barney Classic, taking on host Vermont on Sunday, Sept. 9 at 1:30 p.m.