Defensive Minded - Men's Soccer and Middlebury Scoreless in Matchup of Top Defenses

Erik Herrera

Middlebury, VT --- In a matchup of teams in the top 10 nationally in lowest goals against average, it was defense on display as WPI and host Middlebury played to a scoreless double overtime draw on Tuesday afternoon in Vermont. The match was originally set for an evening start in Worcester but shifted due to EEE restrictions. 

With the result, WPI, ranked seventh in the latest United Soccer Coaches New England Top 10, moves to 7-2-4 overall, while the fifth-ranked Panthers are now 6-1-5 on the season. 

Entering play on Tuesday the Crimson and Gray defense was ranked third out of 410 Division III teams in GAA (0.315) while Middlebury was ninth (0.504).  

Rufus Adams (Duxbury, MA) registered five saves for the visiting Engineers while the backline of Christopher Martenson (Westport, CT), Ben Rickson (West Warren, MA), Mike Biando (Atlanta, GA) and Erik Herrera (San Diego, CA) excelled as WPI posted its ninth shutout in 13 outings this fall. 

Ryan Grady (Deerfield, IL) was strong in net for the hosts, making two stops, including the game's best save, robbing Franco Bazzini's (San Juan, PR) bid from 10 yards towards the near post toward the end of the second OT. 

For the match, held a 13-10 advantage in shots and a slight 4-2 edge in corner kicks. 

Both teams return to conference play with home matches on Saturday afternoon.  WPI hosts Coast Guard at noon in a NEWMAC title while Middlebury entertains Tufts in a 1pm NESCAC affair.