NORTH ADAMS -- One week ago, the members of the MCLA men’s soccer team were 2-0 and had outscored its opponents 13-1. On Saturday, the Trailblazers were on the receiving end of a one-sided loss.
Union’s Carl Faber scored a hat trick and the visiting Dutchmen scored four goals in the second half to beat the Trailblazers 6-0 in the first game of the CIAO Soccer Classic.
"We just had two wins where we crushed two opponents," MCLA coach Adam Hildabrand said. "I think we were a little over-confident coming into it. You still have to work hard. You can’t just show up."
The Trailblazers were down 2-0 at the break, but gave up a back-breaking third goal just 1:43 into the second half. It was the first of three goals in a 9-minute span that turned a fairly close game into the soccer equivalent of a blowout.
"It’s something that happens and is something we have to fight through," MCLA midfielder Drew Webster said. "Everyone knows what we’re trying to accomplish, and we know what we’ve got to do to come back from it, and we plan on it."
The Trailblazers will play Norwich today at 2:30 in the second day of the CIAO classic. Norwich and Castleton State battled to a scoreless tie in the second game on Saturday.
Kevin Janson’s penalty kick goal in the 41st minute put the Dutchmen up 2-0. The call came when Union’s Tyler DeWaltoff got behind the MCLA defense and as he went for the ball, he collided in the box with MCLA starting keeper Matt Robinson. Janson converted and the Trailblazers went into halftime up by two.
MCLA’s best chance of the first half came with the score 1-0. Freshman Romeo Grey, just into the lineup, got behind the Dutchman defense and tried to run down a long ball. Union goalkeeper Ryan Carter got out of position and Grey had a wide open net, but the ball rolled too far for him to get a good look at the net and fired a shot into the side of the cage.
Union came out of the gate strong in the second half and James Skelton took a cross from Dean Constant on right side and headed the ball past Robinson.
Faber followed with goals in the 53rd and 54th minutes, and the rout was on.
"Everything you talked about at halftime was all of a suddenly out the window," Hildabrand said, after the Trailblazers gave up that first goal. "You have to regroup and stay mentally strong."
Union coach Jeff Guinn said that substituting Skelton into the game during the first half gave the Dutchmen a boost.
"I thought MCLA was very good in the first half," said Guinn. "If they had scored the next goal, good lord, who knows what will happen the rest of the game. We were fortunate enough to score that next goal, and it looked like it really deflated them."
Carter came into the game as the reigning Liberty League player of the week. The junior keeper was not tested very often by MCLA, as he had to make only two saves -- one in each half. The real tester came shortly after Union made it 4-0. Freshman forward Dylan Pereira got free of the Union defense, and Carter had to be tough to make a save on the header.
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