As a first-year goalkeeper for the men’s soccer team, Chris Miller understands that he won’t start every game this season. Miller watched as Colgate lost the first game of its two-game road trip, 4-2 to Boston University. However, he was in goal for a battle with the University of Vermont Catamounts, and Miller proved to be the difference in a 2-1 victory.
The road trip began very well for the Raiders, as they took the lead just six minutes into their game against B.U. on a goal from first-year Matt Schuber. This one was all hustle, as Schuber’s first shot was turned aside by the Terrier keeper, but the talented forward refused to give up, capitalizing on his own rebound and depositing the ball in the back of the net. This early lead would not last long for the Raiders, as the game could have been renamed the “Shaun Taylor Show” from that point on. The B.U. junior dominated the affair, scoring a hat trick. Taylor scored first in the 23rd minute and then in the 31st on a penalty kick to give the Terriers a one-goal advantage. It seemed the score would stay that way going into the half until Schuber stunned the crowd again, this time by cashing in on a shot from ten yards out with only two seconds remaining in the first half.
“Schuber is a great asset to the team,” Miller said. “He’s good at both holding up the ball and distributing it to the other forwards. He’s going to be good for the next four years.” Unfortunately, that goal would be one of the last bright spots for the Raiders in the game, as the Terriers dominated play in the second half, scoring in the 54th minute. Taylor scored in the 75th minute to complete the hat trick.
“Boston was the best team we’ve played so far,” Miller said.
Following the game the Raiders headed up to Burlington, Vermont for their matchup with the Catamounts, who made the NCAA Tournament last year and won an opening round game.
“Coach had let me know before the trip that I would start one of the games, so when (senior goalkeeper David Capuccio) played the Boston game, I knew it would be Vermont,” Miller said. “I was a little nervous but I felt confident and ready to go.”
The Vermont game started very similarly for the Raiders, as they took the lead early on with a rebound goal. This time it was junior Chris Ross corralling his own shot and sending it home in the 16th minute. Unlike the Boston game, the Raiders were able to hold this early lead into the halftime break.
But when the second half began, Vermont came out on fire. In the 55th minute their hard work appeared to be paying off, as they were awarded three straight corner kicks. Although the Raiders were able to withstand this assault, a free kick awarded to the Catamounts after the third corner proved to be too much. Senior Jake McFadden redirected the free kick right at the goal, and the game was suddenly all tied up.
Determined not to let the game slip away, the Raiders began to move the play towards the other end of the field, and just eight minutes later, sophomore forward Steven Miller gave the Raiders the lead again when he knocked home a beautiful cross from Matt Leach.
From that point on, the game was all about the Colgate defense, anchored in goal by Chris Miller. The Catamounts’ second half assault amassed twelve total shots and Miller was forced to make five huge saves. The biggest of these saves came off a corner kick in the last thirty seconds.
“Our team played really well. It was a battle all the way through with these guys (Vermont), but it was really a group effort. Everyone played big,” Miller said.
The Raiders now return home to open up their Patriot League schedule, facing off against Holy Cross tomorrow night.