MAU falls in OT on Senior Night
BENNINGTON -- Rain can be a great equalizer.
The Mount Anthony Union High School boys soccer team had the run of play through 80 minutes against Brattleboro without the bad weather, but the Patriots and Colonels couldn't be separated on the scoreboard.
Heading into overtime, the rain started and less than two minutes in, Brattleboro's Jackson Batchelder scored to give the Colonels a 2-1 win on Senior Night.
Batchelder made a nice play on the ball, getting around an MAU defender and slipping it past Patriots goalie Pat Cody.
"He's one of their best players," said Mount Anthony (4-7-1, 1-5 Marble Valley League) coach Mike Molloy. "It was a good individual effort on his part."
Mount Anthony worked hard to reach overtime in the first place.
Down 1-0 in the closing minutes of regulation, the Patriots pushed up, pressing for the tying goal. After a couple of chances were denied, MAU finally made one stick. Junior forward Abdul Sumalia worked his way through two defenders, then got 1-on-1 against Brattleboro goalie Galen Finnerty. The senior netminder decided to come out and play the ball, a mistake that cost the Colonels the lead.
"That was a goal that came by working hard," Molloy said. "He beat two guys and had great composure in that situation."
The goal was Sumalia's third of the season.
"It was a huge relief when he scored," said senior Andrew Slade. "When we got down, there was a little bit of panic trying to get the goal back."
Because of the success at the end of regulation, Molloy changed the formation in overtime, getting more players into the offensive end.
"We had the advantage, especially from a momentum standpoint," Molloy said.
Brattleboro took the lead in the 28th minute. With MAU playing aggressive moving their defenders up toward the midfield, the Colonels' Jordan Renouf found Jesse Brown, threading the needle through three Patriot defenders. Brown squeezed the shot past Cody for the 1-0 advantage.
"I feel like we came out too easy," Slade said. "But a loss like this makes us work harder to succeed."
It was a disappointing way to end in the final home game for the Patriots, especially for the team's six seniors -- Slade, Jeremiah Colbath, Austin Dority, Alex Altland, Mark Winslow and Curtis Petitt.
"It was a good match, very physical, but we just had a tough break at the end," Slade said. "We just need to forget this game and play hard in the last two; put this game behind us."
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