Mendes, Beacons Blow by Southern Maine

Mendes, Beacons Blow by Southern Maine

Mendes, Beacons Blow by Southern Maine

Jason Campos

On a rainy and blustery day, senior midfielder Joao Mendes scored two early goals to pace the Beacons past the Huskies of Southern Maine, 3-1. The win was their first in Little East Conference play and the team improved its overall record to 4-8.

The unfavorable weather conditions played havoc with long passes and shots some distance to the goal, but it did not hinder Mendes. Stationed to the Huskie goalkeeper’s right, defender Georgio Bantos kicked the ball toward the goal and Mendes was able to bounce the ball off his head and into the goal in the fourth minute of the game.

Charged by the first goal in over three games for the Beacons, Mendes struck again a little more than two minutes later as he gained control of a loose ball in front of the Huskie goal and slipped the ball by goalkeeper Jeff Gray. The UMass bench became visibly charged and a renewed confidence could be heard in their voices.

Defensively, the Beacons would not let USM sustain any offensive pressure. The Beacon defenders thwarted any charge by the Huskie forward and it was almost always countered by an offensive charge by UMass. The short passes by the Beacons were crisp and the movement of the players was fluid. Sideline play was particularly sharp and it was the most effective mode of moving the ball downfield for the Beacons.

Midway through the first half, USM made some offensive threats, but nothing of a serious nature. However, some Beacons began to feel frustrated by the referee’s calls and the first of three yellow cards for the Beacons was handed to Bantos after the Beacon gave what the referee thought was too much lip service.

Midfielder Alejandro Lopez quieted some of the grumblings a few minutes later as he scored the third goal for the Beacons at 36:57. Lopez came flying down the right side toward the Huskie goal and gave a beautiful fake to the USM defender who lost his balance. Lopez sent a clear cross shot and the ball accidentally hit another Huskie defender and bounced into the goal.

A happy Coach Cotterell had a smile as he and his team came out of the locker for the second half. In his mind, the energy that the team had in the first half needed to be carried over to the second and USM should not be taken lightly because of the score. “This team (the Huskies) lost a close game to one of the best teams in New England 3-2. We’re here to show the rest of New England that we’re the real deal. We’re not satisfied with three and we’re going after more”.

With some sun and blue sky appearing in the west, UMB came out with the vigor and purpose that Cotterell had wanted. However, it was USM that got the first shot on goal of the half and their first goal of the game when sophomore Simeon Allolding, charging down the middle of the field, boomed the ball into the upper right hand corner from about thirty feet out.

The intensity was still there on the part of both teams as Bantos, Lopez, and freshman Edward Miretsky created several offensive chances. As the game began to wind down, USM made numerous substitutions in order to spark the offense. Although the Huskies made several penetrations deep into UMB territory, they failed to put the ball in the goal