FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – It may have finished with a tie score, but it might feel like a win for the 10th-ranked Saint Leo men's soccer team as the Lions scored a goal with just three minutes left in regulation to fight for a 1-1 draw with Nova Southeastern. The Lions tallied their first tie of the season in the Sunshine State Conference game on Saturday night.
Before the Saint Leo last-minute magic, the lone goal for NSU came from David Robles. The score came in the 29th minute, when Juan Rodriguez crossed the ball to Robles at the top right corner of the box. Robles' solid strike put the Sharks ahead for the remainder of the first half.
The hosts nearly doubled their lead later in the first half when the Sharks had a breakaway one-on-one play. Saint Leo was caught up contesting a call, while the ref urged play to continue. The Sharks took a quick free kick and played the ball ahead of the defense, but goalkeeper Manuel Schoenhuber made a great save.
The best save of the match came in the 35th minute. The Sharks committed a foul in their own box to set up a Lions penalty kick. Maximilian Schulze-Geisthovel, one of the Lions' leading scorers, sent the penalty kick to the low right corner of the goal. Andrea Giombetti came up with the diving save to keep his team ahead. Giombetti finished the night with seven saves.
The Sharks played a physical second half and maintained their lead for the majority of the period. However, Saint Leo would equalize in the 87th minute on a goal by Chris Lavie. Lavie scored from right in front of the goal on a cross from the left side to send the Lions' bench into a frenzy.
Overtime was a back and forth struggle for both teams, with Saint Leo taking the edge is shots, 6-5. However, the home team pressed right down to the wire and nearly scored in the final minute of play. As an exclamation on the night, Nova Southeastern had two shots on goal in the 120th minute that required diving saves from Schoenhuber.
Saint Leo took its first draw of the season, after entering the match going unbeaten outside of a loss to undefeated No. 2 Rollins. Saint Leo needed six saves against NSU, the Lions' second highest mark this year.
Saint Leo will head back to south Florida when they face Barry on Monday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in Miami Shores, Fla.
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