BENNINGTON >> The first half of Tuesday night's boys soccer matchup between Mount Anthony and Brattleboro was all Patriots.
But the score at the halftime break was 1-0 Colonels.
Mount Anthony had lots of chances to take down their Route 9 rivals, but dropped a 2-1 decision at Spinelli Field.
"We got beat the first time [a 3-1 loss at Brattleboro]," said Colonels coach Paul Sather.
Mount Anthony nearly scored three times in the first 20 minutes, but the shots were either wide, over the net or right at Brattleboro goalie Emmett Dewes.
Eventually, the Colonels turned it around on Mount Anthony, scoring with 16 minutes to go in the half on a goal by Matt Dulmaine to make it 1-0. On a throw-in, the ball hit a Brattleboro player's head and over to Dulmaine who potted it past MAU goalie Dylan Woodside for the lead.
"To get the first goal was huge, we've played from behind a lot this season. We saw some of their heads drag," Sather said.
In the second half, Brattleboro scored almost immediately when Jeremy Rounds outhustled his defender on a short kick and muscled it past the keeper to double the advantage.
"That goal is huge, if they get it, they feel they are in the game at 1-1, but we get it and it's 2-0, they may cave even. A great play from Ian [Fulton Black], and bang-bang, goal," Sather said. "They had chances and I'm glad they were missing."
At that point, the frustration in the Patriots' body language was palpable.
"It took us a while, but we realized our season on the line," said captain Matthew Anderson. "We have to win one of the last two, this could be it, we found it in [ourselves] to try to put something together."
Mount Anthony's Ben Winslow cut the lead in half with 11 minutes to go, taking advantage of a loose ball in the crease and firing it far post past a diving Dewes. It was the first goal scored by an MAU player since the team's 8-0 win over Stratton Mountain on Sept. 22.
"Ben got behind the defense and put it in like he should," Anderson said.
Mount Anthony moved everyone up in the final 10 minutes, desperately looking for the equalizer. But the Colonels packed in their defense, allowing few chances. One chance went right to a MAU player, 1-on-1 in front of the net, but the shot was wide.
"I was impressed how we stepped it up, but it was just not there tonight," Anderson said. "It was tough when they packed it in. I thought we fought as a team, no one wanted to lose this game."
MAU drops to 4-9 after its seventh straight defeat and must win or tie on Friday night against Burr and Burton to reach the Division I playoffs.
"We need to make sure we're focus on our goal and it's one and done if we lose," Anderson said.