BENNINGTON -- Fighting to secure a spot in the New England Collegiate Conference tournament, the Southern Vermont College men's soccer team played 20 good minutes of soccer against Mitchell, according to SVC coach Tim Penrod.
But what about the other 70?
"We didn't play a complete game, we had loss of focus and discipline ... it was not a good effort," Penrod said.
Mitchell scored three second-half goals en route to a 4-1 conference win on Saturday at Everett Field.
The Mariners (4-5, 2-1 league) scored the only goal of the first half in the 31st minute. Jason Kirby scored the first of his two goals, getting a run up the right side and taking a Howie Johnson pass, putting it past Mountaineers (2-10, 1-2 league) goalie Chris Dunham for the 1-0 lead.
Dunham made nine saves on the day.
"It was a hard-fought game on both sides," said Mitchell coach Dean Roberts.
Mitchell came out fast after halftime and doubled their lead in the 50th minute. Kirby fired a shot that Dunham got a hand on but it trickled over the goal line to make it 2-0.
Less than a minute later, junior forward Pierre Massena cut the lead to 2-1. Massena made a run down the left and the Mitchell goalkeeper, Ramazan Sinani, came out to make the save but missed the ball, allowing Massena to put the ball in the net for his third goal of the season. All three goals have come during conference play.
Erik Argueta earned the assist, his third of the year.
"We wanted to know where [Pierre] was the whole time on the field," Roberts said. "We didn't want him to be able to get into space."
Penrod said he was pleased about his team coming back immediately after allowing a goal.
"It was a great answer," Penrod said. "We were looking for an equalizer and just couldn't find it."
The Mariners continued to push and the assault paid off in the 67th minute with the eventual game-winning score. Zachary Simmons finished a free kick from Frank Williams to make it 3-1, then in the 84th minute, Williams iced the game, scoring against Dunham.
Mitchell clamped down on defense in the second half. After Massena's tally and despite Southern Vermont moving up in the offensive zone, the Mariners didn't allow another shot on goal.
"We possessed well and we're fairly confident up front," said Roberts. "We put pressure on the ball and put the ball in the net."
Things got a bit chippy in the final two minutes, but the referees were able to maintain control, dishing out warnings and yellow cards, so the teams could finish the game.
The Mountaineers have lost four of their last six games after an 0-6 start. They are scheduled to travel to Becker on Wednesday.