Yellowjackets get golden goal in overtime win

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PRINCE ATHLETIC COMPLEX: Rio Kehe tapped in a cross from right wing 46 seconds into sudden death overtime to give the University of Rochester a 1-0 victory over Vassar College at Edwin Fauver Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

It came on Rochester’s first rush downfield in the extra period. UR had a throw-in deep on its own left sideline. The ball eventually found its way to Josh Cooley in midfield. He sprayed a pass to the right side to Zach Lawlor (Aquinas). He avoided a tackle, then ran down the right wing with teammates running towards goal and Vassar defenders recovering and running back. As he reached the end line, Lawlor hit a low ball through the goalmouth. It got past Vassar keeper Will Marment and Kehe was there at the left post to touch it into the net at 90:46.

Kehe’s goal ended a match that saw outstanding defensive efforts from both teams. Marment saved a Rochester penalty kick early in the second half. Rochester defenders Cristian Baltier and Nate Leopold cleared Vassar shots off the line. Baltier did it on a shot by Reis Kissel with 5:30 left in the first half and Leopold did it on a Kissel shot with just under 19 minutes remaining.

The win is the third in a row for the Yellowjackets after an 0-2 start (3-2). Vassar is 2-3-1 overall. The Brewers won their first two at home (vs. Western Connecticut State, 1-0 in OT, and Mt. St. Mary, 2-0). They tied Manhattanville, 1-1 on the road in double overtime, then lost at Stevens, 1-0, and at New Paltz, 1-0. This was Vassar’s third overtime game this year.

Rochester lost in OT at SUNY Cortland, (3-2), then at home to John Carroll (2-1). The Yellowjackets have beaten Keuka College (3-0), RIT (1-0), and now Vassar (1-0 in OT).

Vassar spent a good stretch of the match pressuring the Yellowjackets all over the field and winning the majority of headers. The Yellowjackets countered and had a chance to dent the scoreboard in the 35th minute. Kehe avoided his defender on right wing and crossed the ball to the left side, but teammates weren’t able to make solid contact.

Kissel was denied with 5:30 left in the half. Vassar earned a corner kick. It was played into the middle. In the scramble, Kissel tried to chip it into the goal. It got past Rochester goalkeeper Hugh Curran, but Baltier was there to volley it off the line.

The Yellowjackets were awarded a penalty kick eight minutes after the restart. Kissel was whistled for knocking down Caden Dowd as he chased a ball deep in the area. Josh Cooley’s PK was saved by Marment.

Sixteen minutes in, Vassar’s Alec Yeaney hit a long cross from left wing that started to dip to the top left corner of the goal. Curran was able grab it. Four minutes later, Vassar ran a  two-man combination down the right side. The ball was crossed to left wing where Austin Lukasik fired just over the crossbar.

With less than 19 minutes left, heavy Vassar pressure in the Rochester penalty area resulted in a mad scramble. Finally Lukasik got a foot to the ball and tried to slide it knee high into the net. Leopold was able to scramble it off the line and the Yellowjackets eventually cleared the danger.

Rochester is home on Tuesday evening vs. SUNY Geneseo (7 pm), then goes to Hobart next Saturday. Vassar opens a three-game homestand on Wednesday against Baruch College in Poughkeepsie.

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