LAKELAND, Fla. – Sunday night's match between Florida Southern and Saint Leo may not have been a conference game, but it still had the feel of one. After the Moccasins took the lead on a first-half goal by Jonathan Radvogin, the Lions came back with two goals in the final 25 minutes to take a 2-1 victory.
Before Radvogin could score for the Moccasins, the Florida Southern back line held Saint Leo at bay in the early going with Clay Clingerman, James Gibson and Ricky Marton all making solo stops in the first 10 minutes to keep the Lions from driving into the box for shots. Marton's may have been the most difficult, with the senior defender initially losing his man only to track him down and force the ball out.
Four of Saint Leo's five first-half shots were on target, however, and the fifth nearly was. Andres Guzman stepped up for the Moccasins though with four saves in the first 45 minutes. He was tested just five minutes into the game by Lukas Cramer on a hard-hit free kick, and made another tough save against Javeim Blanchette 11 minutes before halftime.
In between, Radvogin scored at the 14:16 mark by taking a cross from Mitchell Francois off the left sideline and sending a shot inside the far post for a 1-0 lead. It was a lead that stood for a long time, even though Saint Leo out-shot Florida Southern 5-4 in the first half.
In the second half, the Mocs again got several big plays from Gibson in the middle, and survived a scare in the 58th minute when a free kick by Cramer skimmed off the head of Blanchette but right to Guzman in front of the net. Gibson also cleared a shot off the line in the 61st minute when Guzman stopped a low line drive by Cramer but couldn't quite hold the ball as it rolled toward the goal mouth with the Lions in pursuit.
The Moccasins had a near-miss of their own in the 59th minute when Corey Mills took a nice feed from Radvogin, but had his shot stay too far to the right from inside the box.
When the Lions dented the scoreboard in the 67th minute it came on a blast from Maximilian Schulz-Geisthovel, who intercepted a clearance at the top of the box and crushed a shot past Guzman from 20 yards out. Less than four minutes later, Cramer blasted an unstoppable shot under the crossbar from 25 yards that gave Saint Leo the lead.
The Saint Leo defense limited Florida Southern's opportunities after that, though the Mocs still had a few, including a couple of late attempts by Nico Guevara. Their last shot came with two minutes to play after a yellow card against the Lions gave them a free kick just outside the box, but it was sent over the bar.
Saint Leo finished with a 13-9 advantage in shots, with Guzman making six saves for Florida Southern and Manuel Schoenhuber making three for the Lions.
The two teams will meet again on October 19 at Saint Leo in their regular Sunshine State Conference match. Sunday night's game, originally scheduled for Saturday but postponed due to weather, was the first non-conference meeting between the schools in 37 years.
After starting the season with consecutive games on the road, the Lions will finally open their home schedule when they face Palm Beach Atlantic on Saturday. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Saint Leo men's soccer team, be sure to visit SaintLeoLions.com. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest Lions news by following Saint Leo Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Youtube.
Portions courtesy of Florida Southern Athletic Communications