UMass, Charlotte Play To 0-0 Double OT Draw In Non-Conference Tilt
Sept. 23, 2006
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Despite Charlotte taking 18 shots, the UMass men's soccer team earned a 0-0 double overtime draw against the 49ers at Transamerica Field on Saturday night. The game was the final non-conference match for UMass which opens its A-10 schedule next weekend at George Washington and La Salle. UMass keeper Zack Simmons (Durham, N.H.) made a season-high 12 saves - just one off his career best - to keep the Minutemen even despite the offensive blitz.
UMass finishes its non-conference schedule with a 6-2-2 record, while Charlotte is 4-3-2 on the year.
"I thought we played well defensively and were organized throughout the game," said head coach Sam Koch. "Getting a tie on the road is a good result for us. I thought we controlled the first 20 minutes of the game and then one of their players went down and Charlotte came out of the delay and was very aggressive."
Charlotte's 18 shots was a season-high for a UMass opponent this year, while the Minutemen tied their season-low with just five shots.
At the 84:33 mark, Charlotte's Michael Rose nearly scored the game winner, but was denied by a richocette off the post. The 49ers dominated the second half with a 12-to-2 shot advantage, including four shots in the first 10 minutes of the frame. Simmons played outstanding in net during that period making eight saves.
"Zack was outstanding and made some big saves for us tonight," said Koch. "He deserved this shutout. Overall, I thought our defense played well, especially in the overtime periods keeping Charlotte's opportunities limited even though they outshot us."
In the first overtime period, the 49ers recorded the only shot. Both teams managed a shot each in the second overtime, but both were high of the goal.
With the shutout, UMass' seventh of the season, Simmons is now tied for fifth all-time in program history with 11 career shutouts. His seven clean sheets for the year ties Bryan O'Quinn (2000, 2001) for the second-most shutouts in one season.
"This is a good result for us on the road," said Koch. "I was hoping to get the win, but being able to play well on the road and get a positive result is always encouraging. Our guys stand mentally tough throughout the match and that was a great sign."
The game was a non-conference match due to the Atlantic 10 scheduling just nine league games in a season. Including tonight, UMass' match earlier this year against St. Bonaventure were both non-conference games. Charlotte will host this season's A-10 Conference Tournament this November.
UMass will open its A-10 schedule this upcoming weekend. On Friday, the Minutemen head to George Washington with gametime set for 3 p.m. On Sunday, UMass will travel to La Salle with gametime at 1 p.m. Fans can follow both games live via GameTracker on UMassAthletics.com.
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