Sophomore Sam DeMello scored on a penalty kick 7:16 into the game and St. Lawrence University's defense completely stifled the Rochester Institute of Technology in a NCAA Division III men's soccer game on Sandy MacAllaster Field Friday afternoon as the Saints handed RIT its first loss of the season, 2-0.
Sophomore goalkeeper Nate Goss-Woliner was credited with two saves for his first collegiate shutout. One came on a curving cross and the other was on a shot from outside the box. The Saint keeper did have a hand in a Saint insurance goal early in the second half, punching out a RIT corner kick which the Saints turned into a pretty fast break goal.
"That was a textbook breakout," said Saint coach Bob Durocher. "It is not something we worked on this week, but we have in the past. Its nice to see that we carried it over."
DeMello was taken down by RIT goalie Sean Conway right in front of the goal with the ball behind Conway and the Saints were awarded the penalty kick, which DeMello converted 7:16 into the game for his second goal of the year.
"It was good to be at home and getting the first goal gave us a boost," Durocher added. "Friday was the first time we have been on our game field...we were going to be on it Thursday, but the weather was so bad that we went indoors."
The Saint backfield of Mike Manfredi, James Stewart and Will Congdon did not give RIT a lot of opportunities to shoot, and when the Tigers did work it deep the Saint defense was there to block the shot. SLU had a 16-6 edge in shot attempts in the first half and a 12-4 second half shot advantage with no RIT shots on goal in the second half.
"We shifted better on defense and we did a good job of making good hard tackles without getting a lot of fouls called on us," Durocher said of his defense.
Sean Scott finished off a pretty passing play after Goss-Woliner's play on the RIT corner kick to give the Saints their 2-0 lead at 54:19. Dan Marvin picked up the long punch off the corner and sent a long pass ahead to Brendan Gorman, setting up a two-on-one with Scott on the right side. Gorman took the ball into the box and sent a cross to Scott, who put it away as Conway did not have a chance on the play.
"We were able to play a little deeper into the roster today, but we need to go still deeper," Durocher said. "We had some guys cramping up late in the game, and you need to have the depth in these back-to-back games."
The Saints, now 3-2, had a 6-3 edge in corner kicks and a 28-10 overall shot advantage, 12-2 on goal. Conway finished the game with 10 saves for the Tigers, now 4-1-1.
SLU will take on Elmira to complete its first home stand of the season Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.