Men’s soccer suffers two close losses to Trinity and Thomas

The Colby Men’s Soccer team struggled through two tough losses this week, but they continue to look ahead and finish their season strong. The losses have pushed the Mules near the bottom of the NESCAC standings with a record of 1-3-1 in league play and 2-5-1 overall. The team is ranked last in the league in both goals scored and goals against.
The first of two losses came on Monday, September 28, at home against the Thomas College Terriers. In the Waterville rivalry game known as “The Elm City Bowl,” Colby came up just short in an exciting overtime match. Thomas showcased their athleticism and speed while Colby showed off their overall sound game in front of an inspired, rowdy crowd at Harold Alfond Stadium.
Thomas opened up the scoring when their player Willie Clemons took a through ball from DJ Nicholas and fired a shot past Colby goalkeeper Dan Carlson ’19 in the seventh minute. After about 20 minutes of back and fourth play, Colby’s Jansen Aoyama ’19 found himself rewarded with a free kick from about 30 yards out. Staring down the keeper before the strike, Aoyama kicked the ball with a perfect blend of power and precision and then watched it soar through the air, kiss the right post, and find its rightful home in the back of the net. This display of skill was Aoyama’s first goal of his collegiate career. The goal gave his team new life, as less than a minute later Kyle Douglas ’19 scored his second goal of the year off a beautiful volley after a precision pass from Lucas Pereira ’19.
Clemons scored his second goal of the game for Thomas in the 74th minute after a 30 yard precision pass from Tre Ming. More back and forth play led to overtime, where Nicholas got his foot on the ball with just 1:07 left in the first overtime period. He was able to slip the ball past Carlson to bring the Terriers to victory. The game was enthralling to watch and appeared exciting to play, even if the Mules came up short.
This past Saturday, the Mules traveled to Middlebury, Vermont to take on the Panthers. The game was tough for Colby, as Middlebury scored just 1:32 into the match, and Mule keeper Carlson went down in the seventh minute when challenging for the ball. John Pappas ’18 took over in the net and made nine saves, but let in two, in what turned into a 3-0 shutout for the Panthers.
The Mules have struggled in the season thus far, but there is plenty of hope for the future. First years have been put in positions to succeed, and are delivering. While there are plenty of juniors and seniors playing mentor for these talented first- years, there is no doubt that people like Carlson, Aoyama, Douglas, and Cam Clouse ’19 are quickly becoming part of the core of the team. As these young guns continue to develop, Colby could be a force to be reckoned with in the months and years to come.
Colby travels to Middletown, CT to take on Wesleyan on Saturday, October 10 at 11:00 a.m.