JOHNSON, VT — The Northern Vermont University-Johnson men's soccer team overcame a 3-0 deficit to come back and defeat the Beavers 4-3 in overtime. Junior Robert Buonanno (Wolcott, VT) scored the game winner for the Badgers in the third minute of overtime, his second goal of the day and fourth goal of the week.
1st Half: The Beavers came out strong in the first half, getting on the board early as Hunter Michaud found the back of the net in the 6th minute of play off an assist by Tristan Price. Less then ten minutes later, Farmington went up 2-0 after a goal by Ilyas Abdi. The Beavers went into halftime with a 3-0 lead.
2nd Half: Johnson wasted no time to get on the board in the second half, making the score 3-1 in the 47th minute after a goal by freshman Wyatt Moberg (Acton, MA). Junior Daniel Arriola (Romeoville, IL) is credited for the assist. After a spell without scoring, the Badgers began their scoring frenzy to take over the game. Freshman Tristan Salgado (Essex, VT) powered a shot toward the bottom left corner, deflecting it off a Farmington defender and past the goalie. In the 89th minute, Buonanno connected on a cross from sophomore Tyler Cirillo (Colchester, VT) to force overtime.
Overtime: Sophomore Elliot Hanna (Milton, VT) served a ball to Buonanno that he settled and drilled past the goalie, sealing a 4-3 win over the Beavers.
Head Coach Shane Bufano was ecstatic about the result post game and credited the resolve and mental toughness of his team. "I'm really proud of these guys for fighting through major adversity today as the mental aspects of the game have been tough for us all year. Down 3-0 at half, I told the guys we are first in the conference in scoring efficiency and can score goals quickly. We needed to believe that we could erase a 3-0 lead and could do so if we broke the game down into nine five-minute games for the final 45 minutes. The teamwork and urgency we played with in that final 5 minutes of the game was unbelievable, and I'm so happy for the seniors that we were able to give them this kind of dramatic send off scoring 2 goals in the final three minutes to tie, and then a big goal in OT to win. Again, so proud of our guys."
With today's win, the Northern Vermont University-Johnson men's soccer team became the first Johnson team to score 44 goals in a season. This passes the record the team set during last season where they set the mark at 43. They also set the record for most single season wins for any Badgers team since joining the NCAA in 2001. The previous record was 8 wins in a single season in 2003, 2005, and 2008. Johnson also clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2010 and is guaranteed atleast no worse than a 5 seed in the upcoming NAC Conference Tournament.
Goals: Rob Buonanno (2) - Johnson, Hunter Michaud (2) - Farmington
Assists: Four Players (1)
Shots on Goal: Rob Buonanno (3) - Johnson, Hunter Michaud (3) - Farmington
Shots (On Goal): Johnson — 11 (8), Farmington — 14 (12)
Corner Kicks: Johnson — 2, Farmington — 8
Fouls: Johnson — 10, Farmington — 8
Senior Gerrit Lane (Moretown, VT) earned the victory for the Badgers making nine saves on 12 shots. Farmington's Matthew Wilson took the loss for the Beavers, allowing four goals on eight shot attempts.
The Northern Vermont University-Johnson Men's soccer team will travel to Castine, Maine on Saturday, October 20th for a conference tilt versus Maine Maritime Academy. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:30 PM.