AU men’s soccer is on top of the Patriot League standings, after Cristobal Soto scored on a free kick 39 seconds into the first overtime period to give the Eagles a 3-2 win over Army Oct. 6.
The Black Knights (3-7-1, 0-2-1 PL) were whistled for a foul within the first 30 seconds of OT, allowing Chris Kuramoto to take the ensuing free kick from just inside midfield. Kuramoto served the ball into the box, and Soto settled it and beat Army goalkeeper Winston Boldt for the game winner.
Army scored first, taking an early 1-0 advantage in the 15th minute when Parker Dixon headed the ball into the net off Michael Kim’s corner kick.
American (6-5-1, 2-0-1 PL) responded three and a half minutes later with a quick strike from Colin Seigfreid who was able to place a low shot from 18-yards out off Dale McDonald’s assist.
The Eagles took the lead in the 39th minute when McDonald added his own goal, heading the ball in from close range off the feed from Seigfreid, returning the favor.
Army added the eventual equalizer in the 66th minute. Kyle Golonski’s header hit the crossbar, and Josh Koeppe collected the rebound and turned to face the net, but Billy Knutsen came up with the save. More Black Knights rushed the goal for the rebound, and Trent Brown added the eight-yard finish to tie the game at 2-2.
Both teams enjoyed numerous scoring chances over the final 25 minutes of regulation, but Knutsen and Boldt were able to make the necessary saves to keep the score tied.
It was then in overtime when Soto lifted the Eagles to its first conference road win of the season on his second goal of the year.
The team followed up its road win over Army by dropping its non-conference match to Liberty, 1-0, Oct. 9 in Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty (4-6) had an early chance off a corner kick in the seventh minute, but Knutsen was able to register one of his four saves on the match.
The Flames recorded another opportunity in the 29th minute when Johnny Torres picked up the loose ball and fed it to Kyle Breitmeyer, who was able to put it past Knutsen for the 1-0 lead.
After 45 minutes, the Flames held a 7-0 advantage in shots.
Brett Habermehl gave AU its first shot of the match in the 60th minute, but Scott Sutarik saved the sophomore’s header. The Eagles continued to look for the equalizer, but Sutarik came up with another save on Seigfreid’s attempt moments later.
Late in the match Patrick Mehlert’s right-footed shot just glanced over the crossbar, and the Flames held on for their second consecutive defeat against the Eagles.
Liberty held an 11-5 advantage in shots, with a 5-2 edge in shots on goal.
The first-place Eagles resume conference play when they travel to Easton, Pa., to face Lafayette Oct. 13.