JOHNSON, VT — The Northern Vermont University-Johnson men's soccer team emerged with a 1-0 victory over SUNY Canton to earn the fourth seed and a home playoff game in the upcoming North Atlantic Conference tournament. Junior Robert Buonanno (Wolcott, VT) scored the game winning goal for the Badgers. The contest also featured four goal-line saves by senior John Folsom and sophomore Jarod Croteau (Loudonville, NY) to assist goalkeeper Gerrit Lane with keeping the Kangaroos off the board.
In the seventh minute of play, freshman Matthew Burbo (Burlington, VT) crossed the ball through traffic to Buonanno at the top of the box who drilled it past the goalie into the left-hand corner to give Johnson a 1-0 lead. Buonanno's goal was his fifth game-winning goal of the season, padding his lead for first in the North Atlantic Conference standings for game-winners, goals scored, and total points, as well as making him tied for 10th in the NCAA in game-winning goals.
Goals: Robert Buonanno (1) - Johnson
Assists: Matthew Burbo (1) - Johnson
Shots on Goal: Josh Geller (3) - SUNY Canton
Shots (On Goal): Johnson — 8 (4), Canton — 12 (4)
Corner Kicks: Johnson — 1, Canton — 8
Fouls: Johnson — 22, Canton — 7
Senior Gerrit Lane (Moretown, VT) earns the win for the Badgers, making the shutout with two saves. SUNY-Canton's Mouhammed Thiam takes the loss for the Kangaroos, allowing one goal on four shot attempts by the Badgers.
After the game, Coach Bufano gave a lot of praise to his assistant coach as well as the team energy for the win. "Coach Underwood did a fantastic job with devising today's gameplan and the players executed his scout very well. I'm incredibly lucky to have him as an asset on the staff as his tactical abilities were a big key to us winning this game. I am extremely proud of our guys on the field for executing as well, however the guys on the bench acted as a 12th man on the field with their energy and positive attitude. They helped their teammates by pointing out marks and lifted the intensity from off the field. It was a team effort and we are extremely happy that we get to host a playoff game this weekend. Hats off to SUNY Canton as well, that was a quality team we beat and a great win for our program."
BY THE NUMBERS
- The Badgers extended their NCAA Era wins record to 10 wins
- The Badgers enter the NAC Playoffs for the first time since 2010
- The Badgers will host a home NAC Playoff game for the first time since 2005
- The 10 wins marks the first Badgers season with double digit wins since 1992
- Rob Buonanno ends the regular season topping the NAC Scoring Lead in Goals, Points, and Game Winning Goals
- 3 players end the regular season in the Top 5 in NAC Scoring for Goals Scored (1st - Rob Buonanno - 12, 4th - Tristan Salgado - 9, 5th - Daniel Arriola - 8)
- 5 players rank in the Top 5 in the NAC Scoring for Assists (2nd - Elliot Hanna - 5, T/4th - Rob Buonanno, Daniel Arriola, Joe Holloway, Jarod Croteau - 4)
- 3 players rank in the Top 5 in the NAC Scoring for Points (1st - Rob Buonanno 28, T/4th - Daniel Arriola, Tristan Salgado - 20)
The Northern Vermont University-Johnson men's soccer team will host SUNY Canton for the first round of playoffs at Minaert Field on Saturday, October 27th. The game is scheduled to begin at 2:00PM.