Lee Men Win 2-1 In Overtime

Sunday, September 19, 2021
Eemeli Makela set up the overtime goal in Sunday's thrilling 2-1 win over CBU.
Eemeli Makela set up the overtime goal in Sunday's thrilling 2-1 win over CBU.
Senior Mattia Balzano scored the game-winning goal for another Lee men's soccer overtime victory, 2-1 against conference foes Christian Brothers on a rainy Sunday afternoon from the Ray Conn Sports Complex.

After a scoreless first half things picked up in the second 45. CBU's Andres Solares tallied a yellow card in the 62nd minute, and two minutes later grabbed another yellow, which warrants a red card, causing Christian Brothers to have to play a man down for the final 26 minutes of the game.

Capitalizing on the man-up opportunity, the Flames finally put the first goal on the board in the 70th minute.
Samir Eldahan ran the ball up the sidelines and sent it right to Caio Arantes, who headed it just past CBU goalie Wayne Davis into the back of the net. 

With only 11 minutes remaining, Chandler O'Dwyer found the equalizer for the Bucs. The CBU graduate student headed it in right past the fingertips of diving Lee goalkeeper Sam Keener. CBU's Kazuyuki Hata was credited with the assist. Energized by the short-handed goal the Bucs stayed on the attack and forced the overtime period.

"I credit CBU they played with more urgency than we did after the red card. It can be tricky sometimes to play a man up so I think we got too passive after we scored the goal," said Lee head coach Derek Potteiger. "In the end though we defeated two really quality teams this weekend to open GSC play and I think we learned a lot in having both these matches come down to the wire and go into overtime. That will serve us well as we go on the road and move into tough back to back GSC weekend games."

We aren't exactly sure what Coach Potteiger said to his boys during the break before the extra period but whatever it was it worked. The Flames came out with fire under their feet, with two close shots in the first minute of overtime. But it was Balzano who was able to capitalize in the 98th minute off a pass from Eemeli Makela. Balzano tapped the ball in right past CBU's keeper as the Flames rushed the field celebrating their second straight conference overtime victory. Makela and Noam Stein were both credited with the assist. 

"I feel like this group as a special way of stay persistent and not giving up in tough situations," added Pottegier. "We had some chances to end it early in OT but our guys stayed aggressive and Makela played a beautiful ball near the post and Balzano went and made a play when we needed it most."

CBU held the edge on the Flames in total shots 12-9, and also led the game in fouls 15-10. Keener came home with the win in goal and registered two saves.

Christian Brothers, after crushing Shorter 8-1 on Friday, falls to 5-2 and 1-1 in conference play, while the Flames improve to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in the GSC.

Next up for the Flames is a weekend trip to Mississippi, where Lee will continue GSC play against Mississippi College Friday at 4:30 p.m. and Delta State Sunday at 4 p.m.

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