GORHAM, Maine - Coast Guard opened their season with a 1-0 victory over Castleton on a penalty kick goal from senior Alex Lane in the first half at the University of Southern Maine Husky Fall Classic.
With the win the Bears start off the season 1-0 for the first time since the 2014 season when they also played in the Husky Fall Classic and came from behind to beat Salve Regina 2-1 in overtime. The Spartans fall to 0-1 early in the season.
Coast Guard pressured the Spartans back four early with balls over the top attempting to get an attacking player in behind the defense. Lane looked to get the scoring going early for the Bears when he found the ball at his feet deep in Castleton's penalty area putting a shot on goal, but Spartan junior goalkeeper Aaron Parker was able to make a sliding save and then collected the rebound to keep the score knotted at one in the 13th minute.
With just under twenty minutes gone in the first half, Junior Austin Read sent a ball to the back left corner of the 18 yard box to classmate Ryan Dandan who was able to settle the service but sent the shot right into the body of Parker who held on for the save.
Read once again had another opportunity in the 28th minute as he took a rip from 30 yards out which looked headed for the upper ninety but Parker was able to to make a diving save and force a Coast Guard corner kick.
The Bear's finally broke through as a hand ball in the Spartan's box gave them a penalty kick. Lane stepped up to the penalty stripe and placed a shot into the bottom right corner for Coast Guard's first goal of the season with 27:48 on the clock which proved to be the game winner.
The Bear's came out strong in the second half pushing forward, sending crosses into the box and continuing to put pressure on the Castleton back line.
In the 53rd minute senior Caelan Harshaw found Dandan at the top of the box for an open look on goal, but Dandan forced the shot over the net and out of play.
The Spartans upped the pressure late in the game as sophomore Thomas Kirk took an quick corner in the 82nd minute and found senior Nihad Basic who sent a shot on goal forcing junior goalkeeper Jake Sorenson to make a sprawling save. The rebound came off the post but junior Derek Blouin sent it over bar and out of play.
Sophomore William Bragaw (1-0) earned the opening season victory playing the first 62:04 making no saves on no shots faced. Sorenson came in to the game in the second half to seal the shutout making two saves on two shots faced.
Parker took the loss (0-1) making four saves on five shots faced allowing the single goal.
"Very good, hard fought win for us today,"said head coach Chris Parsons. "We certainly created enough chances to win the match. We were fortunate to get a penalty and Alex Lane slotted it in nicely. Give Castleton credit, they made the game difficult for us and could have equalized. Jake Sorenson did a nice job off the bench in the last 30 minutes. AJ Read was dominant at the back. I am looking forward to tomorrow's game."
Coast Guard is right back at it tomorrow, September 3rd, as they take on host Southern Maine at 4:30 in the final day of the Husky Fall Classic.