He moved like he had seen the future and knew where each shot was going to be. Every time the net appeared open and a shot was fired, he barreled into the picture, making one acrobatic save after another, thwarting the Castleton men’s soccer team’s chance at taking the lead.
New England College’s keeper, Robert Millard, looked like he would never give in to Castleton’s constant attack.
But then halftime came, and something happened to Millard in the second half; he became human. Castleton scored four goals in the second half as it beat its North Atlantic Conference foe 4-0.
“I don’t know whether it was luck or skill, but he made some beauties on us in the first half,” coach John Werner said. “Give him credit he did a good job early on.”
When asked how the Spartans were able to beat Millard in the second half, Werner paused.
“Who knows,” he said. ” We got that first [goal] and then and it just went off from there. I think we just finished a little better in the second half.”
Spencer Dandurand got the Spartans on the board first with just over 29 minutes left in the game. Dandurand received a pass from Dameon Young and turned and powered a shot into the back bottom of the net, sending the crowd into a frenzy of applause and sighs of relief.
Just 10 Minutes later, Zac Conlogue scored the first of his two goals when he drove down the left side and sent a shot into the middle of the net. He also scored on a penalty kick just a few minutes later.
“Zac is having a good season,” Wener said. “He has really earned the right to be our number one penalty shot kicker, and he was rewarded tonight with those two goals.”
As time ticked off the clock towards the end of the game, New England College’s play got sloppy, costing them another goal.
With five minutes to go, one of New England College’s defenders lost the ball when he brought to the middle of the backfield as Millard yelled “dangerous” behind him.
The ball was passed up to Trevor Kotrady who enticed the keeper to come out of the net towards him before he deposited the ball in the bottom right corner of the net.
Nate Koenemann made five saves in goal for the Spartans while Millard made nine saves for New England College.
Werner was also quick to point out that the team appreciated the support they have received from the fan base this season and that it has pushed them to success even more.
“We had a great home crowd today as we have had all season,” Werner said. “It’s real neat to have a great turnout. We just want to thank everybody for their support all season.”
The Spartans, who are 4-3-1 overall, have one more non-conference game left on the schedule, and that game is against Middlebury, who Werner referred to as “one of our top two opponents” a few weeks ago.
“Within [Middlebury’s] conference, every game played is a war,” Werner said. “It is our toughest game of the year by far. But we love playing them. Even though we have never beaten them, they respect us because we have closed the gap with them recently.
“We’re very excited for the challenge.”