CLEVELAND – Patience, as they say, is a virtue. Wait for an opportunity. The University of Rochester men's soccer team stretched that cliché almost as far as they could. And when the opportunity was seized, the Yellowjackets had their first University Athletic Association victory.
Rochester defeated Case Western Reserve, 1-0, on Sunday with the goal scored at 89:59 – one second before a sudden death (maybe two) period began. The win snapped a three-game losing streak for Rochester. The Yellowjackets are 8-5 overall, 1-3 in the UAA. CWRU is 5-5-4 overall, 0-2-2 in the UAA.
Mouhammed Thiam scored the goal and Mitch Volis recorded the assist. It was a good reward for Volis who had another match of dangerous opportunities by serving balls into the goalmouth from left wing. He nearly had the gamewinner himself seconds earlier. His inswinger from the right corner was dipping towards the back post, but a Case defender got to it and headed it out. The ball popped out to Will Eisold and his shot – with 13 seconds left 'til OT – was blocked over the line for another corner kick. Volis hung this one towards the back corner of the net and Thiam crashed in to head it just inside the left post with 0:01 showing on the scoreboard.
A reasonable quiet first half – eight shots, one on goal – became a bit livelier in the second 45 minutes. Four minutes in, Rochester goalkeeper Hugh Curran had to bat down a chip by Peter Dernelle off a corner from Connor Weber. UR answered with Volis drifting down the left touchline and hitting the ball across the face of goal and wide of the right post.
In the 62nd minute, Weber charged down the right touchline, darted into the box, and was cutting to the crease when a defender ran over to kick the ball over the endline for a corner kick.
Curran made two saves to get his seventh shutout this season. Jackson Kallen made two saves for CWRU.
The current UAA standings through four matches show Chicago first (4-0), followed by NYU (3-1), Brandeis (2-1-1), and Carnegie Mellon (2-2) in the top four. Emory (1-2-1) is fifth with Rochester and Washington tied for sixth at 1-3. Case (0-2-2) is eighth.
UR plays a non-conference match this Saturday at Fauver Stadium in the Prince Athletic Complex against Endicott College. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. The Yellowjackets return to UAA play on November 1against NYU. They play Brandeis on November 3, and finish at Emory on November 9.