New England Soccer Today

Voltage Upset Pioneers

Forty-one year old veteran striker Bo Vuckovic proved the hero on Wednesday night with an 85th minute game winner to give the Vermont Voltage a 2-1 win over the visiting Western Mass Pioneers in front of a reported 740 at Collins-Perley Sports Complex in St. Albans, VT.

Despite the win, the Voltage (3-10-2, 11 points) remain tied for last on the USL PDL Northeast Division, while the third-place Pioneers (6-4-5, 23 points) saw their playoff hopes come to an end with the loss. The result guaranteed the first-place Ottawa Fury (9-3-2, 29 points) and second-place GPS Portland Phoenix (9-4-1, 28 points) would claim the Northeast Division’s two playoff spots in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

“It was a great game on a great night with a great crowd,” said Vuckovic, Vermont’s owner/general manager/director of marketing/striker, in a club release.

Despite the Voltage being outshot 8 to 2 in the first half, the home side would score the lone goal through Stefan Antonijevic. Antonijevic headed in a cross from Vuckovic to put Vermont in front, 1-0, going into the break.

Ryan Malone would equalize for the Pioneers in the 73rd minute, giving the club some hope of coming back to grab the win they needed to keep their playoff hopes alive.

“The Pioneers came hard in the 2nd half which we knew they would because they are in 3rd place in the league and looking for a spot in playoffs,” said Vuckovic. “They would put pressure on us and push us back but we would fight back.”

It was the Voltage, and not the favored Pioneers, who would emerge victorious, however. Vuckovic, a Franklin Pierce University product and 1996 MLS Inaugural Player Draft third round pick (25th overall) by the New England Revolution, would score the winner in the 85th minute with a strike from outside of the box into the upper right corner of the net. It was Vuckovic’s third goal of the season.

Vermont goalkeeper Ryan Brooks-Newton made four saves in the win.

“The crowd and fans were excited and we deserved the victory,” said Vuckovic. “Over all it was a great night for soccer, for St.Albans and the Voltage sports club. The guys played hard and deserved this victory.”

Vermont concludes their season against Connecticut FC Azul on Saturday, July 14th at Collins-Perley Sports Complex at 7 p.m. Western Mass travels to first-place Ottawa on July 14th at 7 p.m. in both clubs final game of the season.

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