The Spartans were faced with three tough home games this past week against LEC champions Western Connecticut State, interstate rival Norwich, and Rhode Island College.
It was Saturday, Sep. 15 when the Spartans took on defending LEC champions Western Connecticut State University in a hard-fought battle. There was a playoff atmosphere in Dave Wolk Stadium.
“Obviously this is a really good team,” Coach O’Connor said, reflecting on the game. “We knew we had to take our chances well.”
It was the Spartans who scored first in the nineteenth minute. Colby Gay, a junior midfielder, was the goal scorer who put Castleton up early in the first half, with an assist from Seraphin Iradukunda. The Colonials would not back down and came out in the second half and scored two unanswered goals. With time running out, the Spartans threw everything they had at the opposition. Jack Kingdon, a junior midfielder, played a ball towards the middle of the field. With two seconds left on the clock, Cam Rossi-Crete hit the ball into the back of the net, tying the game and sending it into overtime. Neither team scored in the two overtime periods ending the game 2-2.
“The big thing in the end is the precision,” O’Connor said, referring to the goal that brought the game into overtime.
“It was incredible,” Jack Kingdon said. “I’ve never been a part of a game winner.” The Spartans made a statement by battling hard against the defending champions.
Wednesday evening the Spartans hosted interstate rival Norwich, who were unbeaten heading into the clash.
“They were talking a lot before the game,” Kingdon said. “As upperclassmen, we have to keep everybody calm.”
Kingdon put the Spartans on the board first in the fourteenth minute. Four minutes later, Matt Hilton put Norwich on the board, making it a 1-1 game until the second half. The Cadets of Norwich scored again in the sixty-fifth minute, and that was the deciding goal.
“We just couldn’t finish our chances in the second half,” Kingdon said.
The Spartans played their second LEC conference game this past Saturday, Sep. 22 against the Rhode Island College Anchormen. The Anchormen were ranked third in the LEC preseason rankings. They were also LEC’s runner up to Western Connecticut last season.
“I think everybody is amped up,” Kingdon said. “Coming off of that loss everyone is a little upset but…in the league [LEC] you have fight for every result.”
Iradukunda scored his seventh goal of the season in the twenty first minute to put the Spartans up 1-0. Kingdon assisted Iradukunda and scored his fourth goal in the sixty-eighth minute with a chip over the goalie’s head. The Spartans went on to win 2-0.
The Spartans resume conference play tonight on the road against UMass Boston at 7:00 PM.