POULTNEY, Vt. – Green Mountain College was thwarted in its attempt to win back-to-back-to-back games on Sunday when the team came up short against the University of Maine at Presque Isle. The Owls received an unassisted goal in each half from sophomore forward Derek Healy to edge the Eagles 2-1 in non-conference play on Sunday afternoon at Eagle Game Field.
Healy opened the scoring in the 13th minute when the referee called a foul inside the box on an Eagles' defender awarding Healy with a penalty kick opportunity. He struck the ball just left of mid-goal as Eagle sophomore keeper Nate Laymon (Ilion, N.Y.) guessed incorrectly sliding slightly to the right giving the visitors an early 1-0 lead.
The one-goal lead would hold up until just before the half when Green Mountain was awarded a free kick just outside the 18 yard box. Junior forward Mike Ellis (Deonsboro, N.Y.) sprung through the last of the Owls' defenders looking to open some space for a shot, but was fouled giving the Eagles the opportunity. Senior forward Chukwuemeka Ugorji (Abuja, Nigeria) took the direct kick and made no mistake nailing the tying goal just inside the right post past Owl junior keeper Caleb Bragg-Grady.
Green Mountain (2-5-0, 1-0-0 NAC) proved to be the aggressors in the first half outshooting the Owls 13-3 and earning an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Healy struck again for the UMPI (3-5-0) at the 55:52 mark of the second half when he picked up a loose ball in the Eagles' final third, made a move to clear himself for a shot and netted a strike to give UMPI the eventual game-winning goal.
The Eagles had several chances to even the score in the dying minutes. With 11:38 remaining in the game and GMC pressing, Ugorji received the ball in open space five feet from the goal mouth, but Bragg-Grady made a fantastic diving stop to preserve the lead. Again at the 1:31 mark, Ugorji fired a ball wide of the visitor's net just missing knotting the score at two.
Bragg-Grady turned aside 13 GMC shots in all for the Owls in their victory. Laymon made three saves in net for the Eagles in the loss.
Green Mountain will prepare for Family and Friends Weekend next weekend as the team will host Husson and Maine Maritime over the two days. The Eagles will take on Husson on Saturday at 1 pm, then face Maine Maritime Sunday at noon. UMPI will next play on the road at Fisher next Saturday at 3 pm.