By Sports Editor Tom Griffin
This season and this past week mark the 100th career win as head coach for Henry Almeida and the UMassD men’s soccer team.
Accomplishing his hundredth in a steamrolling against Southern Maine, the milestone comes as a neutral price – a tie against Rhode Island College.
The Corsairs’ outing against Southern Maine was, tactically, possibly Almeida’s best work. The UMassD team beat the Huskies to the point of attack, while also doubling back and playing a rock-solid defense that kept Southern Maine as far from scoring as possible.
Almeida and his Corsairs started by layering on shot after shot, totaling 13 on the game. It took some time for the Corsairs to reach pay-dirt, but at the 23rd minute, Yorik Sajbin tapped one in to give UMassD the lead.
Back on the defensive, goalie Jacob Castro played a perfect game, scooping up both shots on goal that went his way. A third, the only other shot managed by Southern Maine on the evening, went wide.
For his efforts throughout the game, Eric Barry, leading his team in shots with 4, finally found the back of the net late in the 53rd minute. Scoring a second goal for the Corsairs, Barry would pad onto their preexisting lead and seal the game – Almeida’s 100th win in his twelve-year career – for UMass Dartmouth.
Unfortunately, the overwhelming success the Corsairs had against Southern Maine would fade in their subsequent matchup against Rhode Island College. In a double overtime heavyweight bout, the two teams went pound-for-pound far beyond regulation only to end up scoreless.
The two nearly matched each other on all fronts. Both at 7-4, the two were riding successful seasons on the efforts of unrelenting offenses and goalies that caught everything in sight.
While Rhode Island College outshot UMass Dartmouth 13 to 9, both teams only managed 6 shots on goal apiece. Both goalies, in return, came down with 6 saves each. The similarities continue down to 19 fouls from the Anchormen and 18 fouls by the Corsairs. Each team’s leading shooter, with UMassD represented by Junior Montiero, fired three ultimately unfruitful shots.
Neither team made a mistake, neither team had a flaw, and neither team could capitalize on the shortcomings of the other and turn it into goals. As a unit, both teams met in an affair where an immovable object opposed an unstoppable force, not moving in a 0-0 slugfest.