Brenton Jones scored his second goal of the season early in the first half and St. Lawrence University's men's soccer team completed just the third undefeated, untied regular season in program …
Brenton Jones scored his second goal of the season early in the first half and St. Lawrence University's men's soccer team completed just the third undefeated, untied regular season in program history with a 1-0 win at arch-rival Clarkson Saturday afternoon.
The Saints, 16-0-0 and 8-0-0 in Liberty League play, will start the post-season portion of the 2011 season when they host Vassar, the fourth seed in the Liberty League tournament, at Sandy MacAllaster Field in the league tournament semifinals Wednesday at 1 p.m.
The 2011 Saints, who outscored their opposition 39-4 in the regular season, set season records for goals against average and senior goaltender Brian Abernethy tied the single-season shutout record with 12, needing just one save against the Golden Knights. Abernethy, who leads the nation in goals against average at 0.13 and is second in save percentage at .933 won his 15th of the season and has not allowed a goal since Sept. 10.
Jones scored the game winner at 13:01 as he got the second touch after Sam DeMello's pass was blocked and then headed up into the air by a Clarkson defender. Jones controlled the ball, got past a Clarkson defender and put a hard shot between Clarkson keeper Scott Stuart and the post. It was the second goal of the year for Jones and his first career game winner.
"We were able to possess the ball very well," said Saint coach Bob Durocher. "It was a really good soccer game as Clarkson really came to play. They know what we are going to do and their defense did a good job of taking away some of the things that make us successful.
"We saw some gaps in the first half, but the wind held the ball up and we couldn't get to them. Clarkson took those gaps away in the second half with some defensive shifts. We had some really good opportunities, but I think we got a little satisfied after we scored the first one. We want to be patient and pick and choose our spots to go, but at one point I think we got a little too patient.
"It was a good game to head into the final third of our season on," said Durocher, who will take a team to the post-season for the 16th time in his 22 seasons on the Saint bench.
The Saints outshot Clarkson 14-4 and had a 6-0 advantage in corner kicks. Scott made five saves for the Golden Knights while Abernethy needed just one save for the win.
The Saints compiled their perfect regular season, joining the 16-0-0 1998 and 17-0-0 1999 teams, despite losing a three outstanding senior forwards for the season. First-team All America Brendan Gorman was lost for the year when he injured his knee during the summer, senior Dan Marvin went down with a season-ending knee injury in game three and senior Sean Scott was knocked out for the rest of the season nine games in. A deep bench helped cover their loss as 15 different players have scored at least one goal for the Saints thus far this season.