Lee Men Win In Overtime Over Union
Saturday, September 18, 2021
Sam Keener posted four saves in Friday's victory over No. 8 Union.
Senior Eemeli Makela scored the game-winning goal with 24 seconds left in overtime to give the Lee men's soccer its first Gulf South Conference win of the season against the Union Bulldogs. The Flames move to 3-1, while Union, ranked No. 8 in the latest national rankings, tally their first loss of the season, falling to 3-1-1.
The Flames had the lead for the majority of the game, after freshman Gui Busato scored his second goal of the season in the 34th minute. Junior Caio Arantes was credited with the assist.
Makela secured the win for the Flames with a penalty kick, also thanks to Arantes, who had a major part in both scoring plays of today's game.
Arantes's push to goal in the 100th minute brought the foul on Union's goalie Botand Nemeth, which led to the game-winning PK.
"I give a lot of credit to Caio, coming in as a substitute and drawing the final PK," said Makela."I'm super happy to score, but it was all for my team. They've been pushing me all year, trying to get me confident for this kind of situation. Our team plays for each other."
After two key saves by Lee goalie Sam Keener the Flames eventually gave up the lead in the 75th minute when senior Gavin Scott found the lower left corner of the net off of a pass from fellow senior David Hurtado. Following the Bulldogs equalizer, the Flames went on the attack and had several chances to pull ahead in the last 15 minutes, but were unable to capitalize, which pushed the tight game into overtime.
"I thought the team responded really well after Union's goal," said Lee head coach Derek Pottieger. "Our team had the right spirit and character to be able to fight back and regain control of the game, and finish it the way that we did. It's still early in the season, and our goal is to dictate the game for the full 90 minutes, and even 90 minutes plus. It's something we'll continue to grow in, but I thought there were some really good performances out there tonight."
With a solid back line defense, the Flames didn't allow the Bulldogs a chance to shoot post-regulation. The attacking Flames pushed hard and tallied three shots in the overtime period.
While Union had the edge on the Flames in total shots 10-9, the Flames had a 6-5 shots on target advantage. Both goalies played the entire game and each registered four saves.
Last April, Union ended Lee's shortened 2021 spring season in the conference playoffs. Today, six months later, Lee ends Union's undefeated streak. Today's match marks the first time in the past seven games that Union has allowed more than one goal, dating back to last season.
The Flames will be back in action at home this Sunday at 3 p.m. where they continue GSC play against Christian Brother University.