Saints Dominate in 4-0 Win over Rochester
Friday's St. Lawrence University men's soccer victory over the University of Rochester was a long time coming and will raise some eyebrows among the Division III soccer community in terms of the Saints' domination of one of the region's better teams.
Alex Laird and Brenton Jones scored on headers in the first half, Yanick Brown and Mark Provost each scored their first collegiate goal in the second half and the Saints outshot the Yellowjackets 24-8 for the game and 9-2 in shots on goal in a 4-0 win which was the first for the Saints over Rochester since a 2-0 victory in 2003.
"Unbelievable," said Saint coach Bob Durocher. "I can't say enough about the way the guys played today. Rochester just beat the number seven team in the country last week at their place and is an excellent team. We got off to a little bit of a slow start, but then when we popped a couple in it really built our confidence."
"It looked a little grim when we lost Dan Marvin to an injury in the first half and then lost Andrew Bednarsky early in the second half, but the guys off the bench stepped it up. Yanick Brown and Mark Provost stepped in and delivered. Provost hasn't had a lot of time because he is playing behind Sam (DeMello), but he took over for Bednarsky and did a great job. We went 18 deep today and it was a great team effort."
Goalkeeper Brian Abernethy recorded his second shutout, making two saves, both of which came in the first half. The Saints did not allow Rochester a shot on goal in the second half and only two shot attempts in the final 45 minutes.
The Saints opened the scoring at the 22:23 mark as they were awarded a direct kick after Sean Scott was hauled down heading for the goal. DeMello hit a hard arcing kick toward the goal and junior midfielder Alex Laird headed it past Yellowjacket goalkeeper Mike Moranz. It went to 2-0 just over six minutes later as Brian Gilloran rocketed a shot toward goal which Moranz saved, but the ball caromed off his gloves into the air and Jones scored his second collegiate goal with a header.
The Saints had a chance to make it a 3-0 lead 11 minutes into the second half when Jamal Samaroo was taken down in the penalty box and the Saints were awarded a penalty kick, but DeMello's bid snuck just wide of the post. SLU did score its third goal at the 76:15 mark when Brown collected a throw in by Mike Manfredi and volleyed the ball into the net at the top of the keeper's area. The final goal came with 8:27 to go in the game as Gilloran worked around a defender at the top of the penalty area and fed Provost with a through pass and Provost put it inside the far post.
In addition to their 24-8 overall advantage in shots, the Saints had nine corner kicks to five for Rochester. Morenz finished with five saves for Rochester.
Rochester had won three straight in the series and was 5-0-2 in the last seven meetings between the two sides since a 2-0 Saint win in 2003. The two teams had back to back 2-2 ties in 2006 and 2007.
"This was a test for us," said Durocher. "We told the guys it was like an NCAA game, and they really responded to that."