BANGOR – Wednesday afternoon’s men’s soccer game at Husson College’s Boucher Field was not for the faint of heart.
Neither was it one of those ‘watching-paint-dry’ games as Husson College and Saint Joseph’s College upped the intensity and physical play with several hard tackles, injuries, whistle-prompting violations, and yellow cards (six) before the Eagles left the field with a 3-1 victory.
“This is the hardest-fought game we’ve had all year. You have to give them credit, they battle,” said Husson forward Shane Coffin. “It was a pretty dirty game, but it was an exciting one to play.”
Coffin scored two goals to give him seven over the last three games and coincide with a three-game winning streak for 3-1 Husson. Saint Joseph’s is still looking for its first win and is 0-3-1.
“It was like this last year. It’s always been an intense game for us,” said Monks coach Chris Parsons. “I guess you could say it’s one we get up for.”
Even opposing head coaches Scott Warman (Husson) and Parsons got into it by taking verbal jabs at each other in the first half on the sideline.
“It’s definitely a rivalry that Chris has added to since coming from Notre Dame [College] and maybe us overtaking their program with us winning the last two years,” Warman said. “The history is always going to be there and the first two years I was here, they took it to us.”
Husson outshot the Monks 21-15 – 12-6 in the second half, when Husson outscored the Monks 2-0. Both goals came from Coffin, who scored his first on a saved header off a corner kick that came to him with 29:18 to play.
“It bounced around in front and rolled right to me,” said the junior from Topsham. “The second one, Chris Cacela had a couple nice give-and-gos there and luckily, one guy lunged and missed the ball. I just got lucky. Ben Sobey dummied a ball and it came through to leave an open shot for me.”
Coffin’s second score came with 10 minutes left off a T.J. Nevue assist.
Husson’s Matt Goodman made the goals stand up by making 10 saves, two of which were season highlight film-worthy. The first came with 28:35 left. He tipped a shot just wide with a diving, outstretched, one-handed swipe of a low shot to the left corner. The second, with 18 minutes left, was a lunging, fingertip deflection over the net.
“Our team probably could have crumbled if they’d scored on those. That first one was a momentum-keeper,” said the senior goalie.
Parsons said Goodman’s play made all the difference in a game both goalies made superlative saves in.
“We pressured them in both halves, but we just didn’t finish,” Parsons said.
Monks goalie Kenny Kehoe made at least four A-plus saves en route to 16 total.
Cacela put Husson up 1-0 4:18 into the game with a goal off Mike Hoffman’s pass, but the Monks answered on Mike Erikson’s unassisted shot to the right center of the net after a collision with a defender just seven minutes later.