Eagles Close out 2017 with Thrilling Double OT Victory

Eagles Close out 2017 with Thrilling Double OT Victory

BENNINGTON, Vt. – The Green Mountain College men's soccer team ended the season on a high note capturing a thrilling last second, double-overtime victory over Southern Vermont College Wednesday afternoon as the visiting Eagles scored the lone goal of the inner-state battle with only 36 seconds left to take the non-conference game at Everett Field. 

The two sides played a tough, scoreless 90 minutes of regulation, but that's not to say that they didn't each have quality chances to get on the scoreboard. Neither team took a shot in the first overtime period before the second extra session saw both sides try to end it. Finally, in the last minute of action, GMC (2-13) won a 50/50 ball and found the back of the night to end their season with a win. 

Green Mountain senior Brandon Bellissimo (Chicago, Ill.) scored the game winner—being set up by freshman Darren Golden (Arlington, Vt.). 

SVC freshman goalie Dylan Berg turned away five GMC shots in the loss (5-13) while Green Mountain senior captain Griffin Shelor (Cedar Park, Texas) made two saves between the pipes to conclude his collegiate career with the shutout win (2-13). 

Both sides were aggressive in their attempts to make long runs into the offensive end as Southern Vermont was whistled for being offside eight times while the Eagles were called for the infraction on seven occasions. Shots were even at 14 takes each, and SVC took twice as many corners throughout the day with an 8-4 advantage in those set pieces. 

Green Mountain put the only two shots on net of the first period, but Berg denied each one to carry the scoreless tie into halftime. SVC came out of the intermission with a different energy and outshot the Eagles 9-7 in the second stanza with two of the hosts' attempts landing on frame. 

Possibly the most dangerous chance from either side during regulation was when Mountaineer freshman Ray Awusi had a golden look with 37 seconds left to go. A pass was sent in from the right side to the top of the box where he was wide open to knock it home; his first touch would carom away, however, and trickle back towards the right post. Awusi got to it first and found himself just yards away from a squared-up Shelor, but the Mountaineer turned and cracked his point-blank shot over the cage. 

There were only two total shots on net through the 20 minutes of overtime—the first being a GMC header off a corner kick that was stopped by Berg. 

The second would see a different result as the Eagles made the most of it to celebrate the victory. Berg launched a goal kick in the final minute of action, and neither side could gain full control of it until Golden ran on and possessed the ball back down the pitch. He sent a through pass up the gut and towards the top of the box where Bellissimo was able to barely get to it before Berg and slip a shot past the keeper for the win. 

Green Mountain concludes its 2017 slate of games with the win. Cameron Book solidified himself as the team's top scorer with five goals followed by Bellissimo's tally of three goals and two assists in just eight games. Shelor has produced the most saves (149) in the North Atlantic Conference and currently ranks second in the NCAA.