Ross Gienieczko of the Daily Collegian has a sidebar from Friday's win over Fairfield about the unsung hero of the game... sophomore midfielder Luke Pavone. Pavone assisted on both goals in the Minutemen's improbably, 2-1 overtime victory over a team that ranked fifth nationally in goals-against average.
Several players stood out in the Massachusetts men's soccer team's dramatic 2-1 overtime win against Fairfield on Friday.
Senior captain Matt Keys was a monster on defense and scored the game tying goal on a header in the 87th minute. Fellow senior Josh Schwartz scored the game winner in the fifth minute of overtime.
But the real x-factor for the Minutemen was sophomore midfielder Luke Pavone. In addition to making several defensive stops on each wing, Pavone assisted on both goals and injected the team with energy throughout the game. He played with emotion, and even mixed it up after the whistle with several Fairfield players early in the game.
"I'm not surprised that he was the spark plug today," interim coach Devin O'Neill said. "He's just that type of player. He loves to play the game and he just gets after it."
Pavone, to his credit, was quick to deflect praise.
"It was a hard fought game, the whole team fought real hard," he said. "Once we went down one, we kept our heads up and kept fighting. It was a group effort."
A group effort it was, but anyone could see that Pavone played a big role in the UMass win. He played well throughout the game, but in the 87th minute, with the Minutemen down 1-0, he still had nothing to show for it.
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