ONEONTA — Colin Volpe gave Massachusetts Institute of Technology the hook Saturday.
Volpe scored the final goal of Oneonta State’s 4-2 first-round NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Tournament victory in the 76th minute, connecting on a header from Ian Tenzer to steal the momentum from the Engineers.
“That wasn’t technically the game-winner, of course, but it was the game-winner in my mind,” said O-State coach Iain Byrne, whose team allowed back-to-back goals in a five-minute span after taking a 3-0 lead into halftime. “Colin was the first to it, and it hooked in for the winner.”
MIT (13-5-2) pulled to 3-2 with goals by Sean Bingham at 61:37 and John Kramer at 66:13, scoring on two of its nine second-half shots against O-State goalie Daniel DeBottis (three saves).
“I think if they had scored next and made it 3-3, I don’t know how the game would have ended,” said Byrne, whose Red Dragons struck back on a play that started with a corner kick from Addison Straub. “Instead, we were able to put them away.”
It seemed as if two-time defending SUNY Athletic Conference champion O-State, which reached the NCAA final four last season, already had done that with a three-goal cushion after 45 minutes.
Mitchell Cain made it 1-0 a little more than 13 minutes in, sending in a throughball from Justin Rivera off the left post. Eric Fortier headed in a cross from Sean Vinberg five minutes later for a 2-0 lead, and Alex Shkreli turned a cross from Daniel Josepher into a 6-yard goal about six minutes ahead of halftime.
“It was definitely nerves,” said MIT coach Mike Singleton, whose program qualified for the NCAA tournament with its first New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference title. “We’re a young team. We only have one senior and I think it took us the first 20-25 minutes to settle in.