Sophomore midfielder Sam DeMello scored his seventh goal of the season with the Saints playing a man down as St. Lawrence University's men's soccer team beat Hamilton College, 1-0 on Sunday, clinching the top seed for the upcoming Liberty League tournament.
The Saints ran their unbeaten streak to 13 games and remain undefeated in league play at 5-0-1 with a match against North Country rival Clarkson scheduled for Saturday. SLU which went into the weekend ranked fifth regionally, is now 13-2-2 and 5-0-1, while Hamilton, which was ranked fourth, is 9-2-2 and
4-2-0 in league play.
"The story today is not only that we clinched the top seed, but that we did it a man down," said Saint coach Bob Durocher. "We lost Will Congdon to a second yellow card with about 18 minutes to play, but the guys did a tremendous job playing a man down. Sam DeMello scored a beautiful goal and then showed some serious leadership to keep us poised and we did a great job of possessing the ball.
"We started out with two forwards and then shifted to a 4-4-1 lineup and just kept shifting and shifting and shifting, making sure to keep their players in front of us. We got some big minutes from Brian Gilloran off the bench as well," Durocher added.
DeMello took a feed from Tyler McCune and scored his seventh goal of the year and fourth game winner at 79:21, just under eight minutes after the Saints lost Congdon. SLU also had to play a significant portion of the game without junior forward Brendan Gorman, who was taken down hard and injured his leg.
"He is in a lot of pain, and he is a tough kid. Hopefully it is not a real serious injury, losing Brendan would be a major loss and it would make it really tough on us if he were out," Durocher added.
Saint goalie Nate Goss-Woliner finished with five saves for his sixth shutout of the season and second of the weekend while Hamilton's Eric Boole had seven saves and Hamilton had one team save. The Saints outshot the Continentals 20-10 with Hamilton holding a 8-5 edge in corner kicks.