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The men’s soccer team defeated the Colgate University Raiders 2-1 on Saturday night in overtime, after playing 90 minutes in the pouring rain at Ulrich Sports Center. After defeating the two-time league champions, Lehigh improved its record to 4-2-1 for the season.

The winning goal was an accident on account of Colgate’s defense. In an effort to pass back to the goalie, a Colgate defender chipped the ball over his reach and into the Raiders’ own net.

Senior midfielder Adam Gazda said the team was happy to come away with a win.

“I was surprised when it happened, but definitely excited that we won,” Gazda said. “We would have rather scored ourselves, but we had put so much pressure on them for so much of the game that we deserved the win.”

Despite adverse weather conditions, both teams maintained a high level of play. Head Coach Dean Koski said the rain was not much of an issue in the game.

“I don’t think the rain had much of an effect on the game because the field held up really well and both teams had to deal with the elements,” Koski said. “We did a good job of keeping pressure on Colgate in the second half and neutralizing some of their better attacking players.”

Freshman forward Austin Decker scored the first goal of the game for Lehigh in the 14th minute. Colgate responded with a quick goal only one minute later, which took the wind out of the Mountain Hawks’ sails. Lehigh struggled toward the end of the second half but managed to keep the score tied. Colgate had six shots on net while Lehigh had three.

Koski said the Hawks came out of halftime re-energized and ready to win.

“We regrouped at halftime and reminded the team that they were doing fine and to just keep playing and attacking, which they did quite well in the second half,” Koski said.

Lehigh spent the majority of the second half on Colgate’s end of the field, with the Hawks producing many offensive opportunities. They had 10 shots on goal while the Raiders only had three.

Senior midfielder Jesse Schram said he was pleased with the team’s second half performance.

“In the second half, we raised our level and just came out with a better attitude and better focus,” Schram said. After a half of consistent pressure, Lehigh secured the win only one minute into overtime.

The Hawks used their confidence and energy from the second half and carried it through to the period.

Lehigh anticipated a tough game from Colgate, who has won the Patriot League Championship two years in a row. Gazda said he expected Colgate to be very effective offensively as a team.

Despite a few unexpected injuries for the Raiders, they still managed to put the Hawks to the test. Lehigh outplayed Colgate in the end, and sent them home with a 4-4 record.

Koski said there was no most valuable player in the game and that every player contributed to the effort.

“I think we competed well as a team and that most every guy who stepped on the field did a good job of fulfilling their role, which helped immensely,” Koski said.

Lehigh’s next game is at Lafayette College, where the Hawks will take on the rival Leopards Saturday at 7 p.m.

SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Two days after rushing for a season-high 178 yards on 31 carries against Wagner, Bryant University senior running back Jerell Smith was named the Northeast Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Monday, sharing the award with Albany’s David McCarty. The award marks the first football honor since becoming eligible for weekly awards this season.

Smith, a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., had a huge day for the Bulldogs in the 6-2 win on Homecoming & Reunion Weekend. Despite a steady rain throughout the game, Smith had 99 yards in the first half alone and helped put the game away with the decisive touchdown in the fourth quarter.

After Wagner went up 2-0 thanks to a high snap on a punt that was scored a safety, Smith broke through for a 17-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs ahead for good with 10:29 remaining.

Smith enters this Saturday’s game at Fordham (6 p.m. / WOON 1240 AM) third all-time in school history with 2,220 career rushing yards in three seasons at Bryant. A transfer from Howard University as a sophomore, Smith currently stands sixth all-time with 12 career rushing touchdowns and has gone over the 100 yard mark nine times in his career.

Last year, Smith rushed for a career-high 221 yards against Southern Connecticut.

He is currently second in the NEC this season in rushing with 114.5 yards per game.

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The men’s soccer team split two games over the weekend while competing in the Roger Williams University Turfer Classic in Bristol, R.I.

In the first game of the tournament, the Bombers outshot the Plymouth State University 16–8 but were unable to capitalize on their opportunities losing 1–0. The South Hill squad could not find the back of the net for the second straight game of the season.

The Panthers lone goal came in the 28th minute on a free kick. Junior midfielder Jeff Geyer and senior back Michael Jordhamo single-handedly outshot Plymouth State, taking five and four shots respectively. Junior goalkeeper Justin Parlapiano made two saves, but conceded his first goal of the season.

The Bombers rebounded in their consolation match shutting out Fitchburg State College 2–0. Ithaca outshot Fitchburg State a lopsided 26–8 and maintained possession for the majority of the game.

Senior forward Fernando Casanova scored the Bombers first goal of the match off of a cross through the box by freshman back Ryan Norland. The Blue and Gold put the game away in the 82nd minute when Geyer drilled a direct kick into the back of the net.

Parlapiano made two saves and recorded his second shutout of the season. The Bombers are now 1–1–1 on the season.

The Bombers make their home debut when they take on Hamilton College at 3 p.m. Saturday at Carp Wood Field.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
BRISTOL, R.I. — Senior Semir Mehmedovic, a former standout at Franklin High School, scored the game- and tournament-winning goal three minutes into overtime Sunday afternoon as Plymouth State University’s men’s soccer team defeated Roger Williams University, 1-0, to capture the fifth annual Roger Williams Turfer Classic.

Mehmedovic beat two defenders to a ball off a long pass from freshman Matt Anderson, and chipped the ball over the keeper and into the goal at the 93:28 mark for the tournament-winner. Mehmedovic, who also scored the only goal of the game in Saturday’s 1-0 opening round victory over Ithaca College, was named the Offensive MVP and was also a member of the All-Tournament team.

Two other Panthers joined Mehmedovic on the AllTournament Team — freshman defender freshman Joakim Martinsson and freshman midfielder Parker Spear.

Unlike Saturday’s first Plymouth State game, the statistical totals in Sunday’s game were fairly even. PSU had a 17-15 advantage in shots and Roger Williams had more corker kicks by a 6-4 count. The Panthers were out-shot Saturday by Ithaca 16-8, and trailed in corner kicks, 7-2.

PSU freshman goalkeeper Bjorn Ohlsson posted his second straight shutout victory, stopping seven shots by the Hawks.

Plymouth State, 2-0-0, is back on the pitch Wednesday with a 6 p.m. non-conference match-up at Salem State College. Roger Williams, 2-1-0, will take on Johnson & Wales University Wednesday at 4 p.m.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Miami backup quarterbacks Taylor Cook and Cannon Smith both announced plans to transfer Tuesday, a surprising pair of moves that suddenly leaves the Hurricanes lacking depth at the marquee position.

Miami will list freshman A.J. Highsmith as the backup to starter Jacory Harris for the Sept. 7 season-opener at Florida State. Besides Harris, the only other player on Miami’s roster with any college quarterback experience is holder Matt Perrelli, who saw time in one game during the 2006 season.

Miami coach Randy Shannon said he was surprised by both decisions.

“It was kind of strange, to me,” Shannon said. “Both guys came in and they felt like, given the situation and what we had, it was better for them to go pursue other options.”

Fall semester classes start Wednesday at Miami. By leaving Tuesday, Cook and Smith likely will not lose a year of NCAA eligibility. Both will try to enroll elsewhere closer to their homes — Cook is from Texas, Smith from Tennessee.

Each approached Shannon separately with transfer requests. Miami gave both players their release, and Shannon indicated that both were frustrated with the prospects of spending possibly three more seasons behind Harris on the depth chart.

“They need to go do what’s best for them,” Shannon said.

Shannon said months ago that Cook held the No. 2 spot on the depth chart after spring practice behind Harris, who played in all 13 games last year but started only two, splitting time with Robert Marve — who left last December, saying he couldn’t continue in the two-quarterback system. Marve transferred to Purdue.

But on Monday, Shannon revealed competition for the backup spot was again open. One day later, Cook and Smith were both gone.

“It was a hard decision for me to leave the program,” Cook said in a statement released through the school. “I enjoyed my time at Miami and I’m going to miss it. I feel bad leaving my teammates, but it’s a move I had to make. I have the utmost respect for Coach Shannon and [offensive coordinator Mark] Whipple and I wish them the best of the luck.”

Smith completed his only pass last season, for 2 yards. Cook didn’t have any passing stats in his lone Miami season.

“Everything here was handled with a lot of class,” Smith said. “I got to compete and that’s what I wanted. … After evaluating everything, I felt I had to do what was in my best interest.”

Miami’s next move is to give Highsmith more of a crash course in running the offense. The son of former Miami standout Alonzo Highsmith — a member of the Hurricanes’ 1983 national championship team — threw for 2,192 yards, 28 touchdowns and only four interceptions last year while leading Fort Bend Hightower to the Texas Class 5A championship game.

“You’ve got to improvise and overcome,” Shannon said. “He’s been learning and doing well. He can execute a lot of our offense right now. He’s a very smart young man and comes from a football family.”