Lions Stun Sharks, 1-0; Clinch Berth into SSC Tournament
SAINT LEO, Fla. – Fighting for a spot in the Sunshine State Conference Tournament, Lions' freshman defender Matt Campbell came up clutch as he broke a scoreless game with a goal in the 90th minute to give Saint Leo a 1-0 victory over Nova Southeastern, Saturday night from University Soccer Field.
The goal was Campbell's first of his career, and gave Saint Leo the fifth seed in the SSC Tournament where they will take on Eckerd College Tuesday night. The win also snaps a four-match losing streak.
With both teams playing for their postseason lives, NSU and Saint Leo partook in a physical, scoreless first half. The physicality was evident in the two's teams combining 16 fouls, in addition to one yellow caution and a disqualification.
The second half was a mirror image of the first as the two teams continued to play tough, timely defense. Highlighting the Lions' defensive efforts was a 60th minute bicycle kick save by Daniel Valdez to keep the match scoreless.
Still, NSU, playing with the man advantage, began to find chances. It did not deter Lions' goalkeeper Manuel Schoenhuber, however, as he posted multiple key saves en route to the clean sheet.
With Saint Leo playing defense for the majority of the second half, the Lions reversed momentum over the course of the final moments. After being fouled outside the box, Saint Leo forward Edgar Herrera set up one of the Lions few set piece chances. From the left edge Herrera sent a precision delivery across the box to the back post where it met the leaping head of Campbell who smashed home the eventual game-winner.
Schoenhuber finished the night with four saves, registering his first clean sheet since a September 19 win over Tampa. It is his fifth shutout of the season.
In total, the two teams combined for 29 fouls, while NSU held a 5-1 advantage in corners and outshot Saint Leo 18-9.
The Lions will now travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. to challenge the Eckerd College Tritons. Kickoff for the rematch is set for Tuesday, October 30, at 7:00 p.m. from the Turley Athletic Complex. Eckerd won the first meeting of the year 1-0 in overtime.
For more on the men's soccer program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'follow' the Lions on Twitter at Twitter.com/SaintLeoLions, and 'Like' the Lions on Facebook at Facebook.com/SaintLeoLions.
This postgame recap is brought to you by Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant. Located in Brooksville, Fla. Contact Papa Joe's at 352-799-3904 for dine in, or catering needs.