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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Friday, June 21, 2024

Men’s soccer draws at Colby, remains unbeaten on season

The Tufts University men's soccer team played to a 1-1 draw against Colby College on Saturday, September 25.

Tufts men’s soccer faced its first double overtime of the season, ending the 110 minutes of play in a 1–1 draw at Colby on Saturday, moving the Jumbos’ record to 5–0–1 on the season. A strong defensive game from both teams, Tufts fought back from a Colby goal late in the first half to tie it with four minutes left in regulation. However, neither team was able to find the back of the net throughout both periods of overtime.

The teams traded shots for most of the first half until Colby’s Justin Lauer scored off an assist from teammate Jared Wood in the 39th minute to put the host Mules up 1–0. The Jumbos, who outshot Colby 23–10 on the day, continued to generate scoring chances, finding their equalizer in the 87th minute when super senior defender and co-captain Biagio Paoletta found the back of the net on an assist from graduate student midfielder Travis Van Brewer

Throughout the overtime periods, the Jumbos' defense became a brick wall, allowing zero total shots from Colby in both overtime periods, while generating six shots of their own.

“I don't think they even got out of their half," super senior defender and co-captain Calvin Aroh said. "We knew what they were trying to do. Everyone bought in more in the second half defensively.”

Sophomore defenders Gibson Campbell and Max Clivio have stepped up big in their first collegiate seasons, proving to be crucial members of the Jumbos’ defense that has only allowed three goals all season.

“[Campbell] and [Clivio] have done a really good job getting up to speed on just how physical the league is and the potential every other team has to score," senior and fellow defender Ian Daly said. 

Anchoring the Jumbos' defensive line has been first-year goalkeeper Erik Lauta, who has had an outstanding start to his collegiate career. Lauta has started all six of the Jumbos’ games and has logged 13 total saves, including four at Colby. 

“[Lauta] has really come in and played with a lot of confidence and done a great job,” said Daly. “We all feel very safe with him behind us, which is really great.”

With the sophomore and first-year classes both playing in their first collegiate season, the large group of seniors and super seniors has provided the Jumbos with strong leadership, helping guide a large portion of the roster through a collegiate season in one of the strongest conferences in the country. Aside from leadership and mentoring on the field, team bonding outside of games and practice has been instrumental in getting team chemistry to where it is this early on in the season. 

“The entire super senior class has done a really great job of planning activities and getting all of us to bond as a team,” Daly said. “I think if we didn't have that, there's no way we'd be in the position we are right now.”

The Jumbos will look to get back into the win column on Tuesday when they close out non-conference play against Babson College in Wellesley, Mass.

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