Vare’s Hat Trick Spurs Comeback at Navy
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Sophomore Evan Vare netted all three goals for the Lafayette men’s soccer team on Wednesday evening as the Leopards came back to secure critical points in a 3-2 victory over Navy in Annapolis, Md.
Vare, entering the game with three goals overall on the season, doubled that total in 90 minutes of action, scoring one in the first and two in the final 12 minutes. The three goals also marked the first time this season Lafayette has tallied more than two goals in a game.
The Leopards improve to 3-4 in Patriot League action with their second consecutive victory, another first for the Maroon and White in 2017. With nine points heading into its final two matches of the regular season, Lafayette’s postseason bid remains a realistic goal.
The game was controlled by the home side early with the first goal coming in the seventh minute. Off a cross from the right side, Navy’s Wyatt Millard got a free header that hit the crossbar, but the deflection came right back his way and he didn’t miss on the second chance, heading it into the right side for the 1-0 lead.
Less than 10 minutes later, Lafayette responded. Freshman Andrew Venezia’s corner service found Vare on the near side of the 18-yard box as he sliced a header back across the goal and into the far left side to knot it at 1-1.
About 10 minutes after another Vare one-timer that forced a diving save from Navy goalkeeper Mac Burke, the Mids added their second of the contest. Daniel Zaremba stole the ball in the middle of the field, worked around two defenders and beat Seeber into the top left corner to take a 2-1 advantage into the halftime break.
The game was played for the majority in the midfield for much of the second half before Lafayette’s offense came to life late. Working down the right side, sophomore James Gibson earned a penalty in the right side of the box that Vare converted with a no-doubter into the left side for the equalizer.
Then, freshman Martin Ssessanga helped set up the magic in the 83rd minute. The rookie found Vare with space in the middle at the top of the box and let the Leopards’ offensive weapon go to work. Vare cut back to his right against the grain of his defender and made no mistake with his shot, firing a missile into the top left corner for the game-winner.
Shots finished at 16-14 in Lafayette’s favor, while corners were tied at 3-3. Seeber made just one save on the night for his third win of the season between the pipes.
The Leopards return home for their next contest, hosting American on Saturday for Senior Day at Oaks Stadium. Kickoff in a game that will require points for the Maroon and White is slated for 1 p.m.