Northfield, VT- Norwich University handed the Lasell College men's soccer team their first Great Northeast Athletic Conference loss of the 2009 season on Wednesday afternoon. Despite the pivotal match ended in favor of the Cadets 3-2, Lasell still remains alone atop the league standings.
Lasell broke on top, 1-0, in the 17th minute when Zachary Johnson (Westbrook, ME) ripped a shot past Norwich's keeper Charles Maxwell. Johnson was set up on the play by Tholemson Francois (Stoneham, Mass.) who had tore down the left side of the field to fire a shot of his own that was blocked. After corralling the rebounded attempt, Francois was able to shimmy a pass to waiting Johnson for the go-ahead goal.
Norwich leveled the playing field shortly later in the first half when Bobby Begin headed the ball just below the crossbar at 37:19. The teams entered the break at a 1-1 impasse.
The Cadets, however, carried over the momentum from the previous period to secure the move-ahead goal just 1:43 into the second. Chris Rivet served a corner kick into the box and Begin scored from close range. Lasell's goalkeeper Julian Dutton (Madison, Conn.) looked as though he would be able to make the play, but the scramble in front of the net did not allowed him to control the loose ball and Begin took advantage for the score.
Garrett Shufelt sent in the deciding goal at 68:45 of the second half when the striker settled a pass from Colin Pope and ripped a hard shot to the far left-hand corner of the net. Lasell's constant shot pressure in the final minutes of the contest paid off with one more goal by Shane Vinnicombe (Pomfret Center, Conn.) who headed in a cross from Mike Skelton (Conway, NH) from the left side, but the Lasers had no answer to the third Cadet tally before the remaining time ticked off the clock.
The contest was physical and demanding throughout, with 36 fouls and four cautions handed out by the officials. The teams were even in scoring chances, with 12 apiece, but Norwich held an 11-5 edge in corner kick opportunities.
Lasell's record now stands at 8-4-3 overall and 5-1-2 in the league.
Lasell returns to GNAC action on Saturday, October 24th at Johnson & Wales University with a 3:00 p.m. game. The Wildcats are currently 2-5 in the GNAC and 2-13 overall.