SAINT LEO, Fla. – Leonardo Nogueira connected on a tremendous scissor-kick in the 88th minute to break a 1-1 tie and give the Saint Leo men’s soccer team an improbable win over the Lynn University Fighting Knights in Sunshine State Conference action on Saturday evening from University Field.
Opportunities were plentiful for both teams in the second half and you could feel the game building to a memorable finish. After the Lions defenders turned away a good number of Lynn opportunities as time wound down, the Lions attacked toward goal with less than five minutes left.
The golden chance for Saint Leo (5-6, 1-3 SSC) came off of a corner kick that was the result of Jonathan Glenn forcing the ball into the box. The LU defense, scrambling to stop Glenn, pushed the ball out past the end line resulting in the Bruce Cutler set-piece.
Cutler lofted the ball into the box where the Fighting Knight defense cleared it to Daniel Asher, who was standing 35 yards from goal. Asher, trying to spark something for the Lions, sent the ball into the box where it caught a redirection from Glenn. Glenn’s pass bounced in the middle of the area where it was met by the inverted boot of Noguiera, who deflected it off LU ‘keeper Alessandro Salvatore for the eventual game-winner.
The Lions and Fighting Knights had played to a near-stalemate up until that point after a flurry of offense in the beginning of the game.
Saint Leo freshman Viktor Wiknor spun the scoreboard first as he picked up an Asher pass in the 13th minute. Wiknor, standing outside of the box, turned and unloaded a line drive that zipped past a diving Salvatore and inside the far post to give SLU the lead.
Lynn (11-2, 2-2 SSC) answered six minutes later as sophomore Paulo Vaz slipped behind the Saint Leo defense. Going almost unseen, Vaz found himself with the ball standing directly in front of SLU’s ‘keeper Erik Mozzo. Mozzo made a great save on the first point-blank shot, but Vaz picked up the rebound and blasted it home to knot the game.
After that it became a defensive battle for both teams with Lynn seeing a couple of golden opportunities going unanswered, none more critical than a missed header redirection that was in front of a wide open goal. The Fighting Knights’ chance by Kyle Conrad glanced off the top of the crossbar, giving Saint Leo a goal kick that eventually led to the winner.