ORONO – It ended a 1-1 double-overtime tie but there could have been at least four or five more goals during Wednesday’s America East game between the University of Maine men’s soccer team and Northeastern University.
And University of Maine coach Travers Evans knew his Bears were the ones who had the majority of those missed opportunities.
“For the most part, we played pretty well,” said Evans. “We created a lot more quality chances than they did. We had three or four we should have finished but we didn’t. We gave up a bit of a soft goal but we battled back and kept a point [for a tie] in the conference.”
Maine is now 3-3-3 overall and 0-1-2 in America East while Northeastern is 2-5-3 and 1-0-2, respectively.
The territorial play was even but Maine was a little more dangerous in the attacking third. Both goalies, NU’s Sergio Saccoccio (six saves on 20 shots-at-goal) and Maine’s Chad Mongeon (seven saves on 19 shots), were sharp.
Junior left back Adam Chenault scored off a direct free kick with 15:41 remaining in regulation but NU senior center back Joe Parrish equalized with a header off a corner 7:20 later.
Chenault’s 24-yard free kick from the right side beat Saccoccio to the near post.
“I’m supposed to hit it at the last man in the wall and he’s supposed to shield it. I tried to overcompensate and get it to the near post and, luckily, it found a crack in the wall and went right through,” said Chenault about his third goal of the season.
“We had a problem with our wall. I was playing the far post and by the time I got across [it was too late],” said Saccoccio.
Maine had a golden opportunity to extend the lead when Matt Bernal slid the ball across to Kevin Forgett and he directed it to freshman Joe Corey racing to the left post. But Corey’s right-footer from 10 yards out missed the half-empty net to the short side.
“I tried to sneak it in the short side but it didn’t quite work out for me. I misjudged the goal,” said Corey who might have had better success with his left foot.
Serdar Altinbas took the corner to the right of Mongeon that resulted in Parrish’s tying goal.
“Tom Heimreid flicked it on to me and I was standing at the back post. I just headed it in,” said Parrish, whose goal was his first.
Maine had two more glittering scoring chances in the final 90 seconds of the second overtime.
Saccoccio did well to deflect Bernal’s challenging 20-yarder over the cross bar and, seconds later, Forgett cleverly maneuvered his way down the left side in the penalty area only to have his open seven-yarder hit the side netting.
“I tried to sneak it in the near post. I was unlucky,” said Forgett.
“I anticipated him going to the far post where his best shot would have been,” said Saccoccio, who had the near post covered.
Northeastern coach Ed Matz said the “last minute and a half of the second overtime was a nail-biting experience for us. Maine played with more of a sense of urgency. We were fortunate not to get scored on.”
Maine was without All-AE first team midfielder Cooper Friend (ankle) of Ellsworth.