PHILADELPHIA – Sophomore midfielder Matt Mullock netted his first collegiate goal in the 94th minute to send the Saint Joseph's men's soccer squad to a 2-1 overtime victory over Manhattan in a rain-soaked match on Wednesday evening on Sweeney Field. With the win, the Hawks improve to 2-1-1 while Manhattan drops to 2-2-0.
The final play unfolded as senior goalkeeper Greg O'Connell blasted a goal kick up the length of the field to a sprinting Mullock, who beat his defender on pure hustle. Mullock got the ball at his feet, caught Manhattan goalkeeper Connor Hayes off his line, and put his shot into the back of the net just 3:18 into the first overtime.
"This was one of the few games this year where we put a complete game in," said head coach Don D'Ambra following the win. "In overtime, we just wanted to keep calm and stay disciplined. We knew we would get some chances. I'm really happy for Matty [Mullock] to get his first career goal as a game-winner in overtime."
Manhattan had scored the first goal of the game in the 45th minute, just 32 seconds before the halftime break, as the Jaspers converted on a scrum inside the box.
With the Hawks trailing 1-0 in the 73rd minute, freshman midfielder Alan Kahlenbeck forced a Manhattan turnover, and senior midfielder Matt Crawford found the ball at his feet. Crawford got a bit of space and, from 20 yards out, blasted his team-leading fifth goal of the season into the upper-right corner for the late equalizer.
"Matty [Crawford] hit a great shot," beamed D'Ambra. "His finishing has been exceptional and so opportunistic. He seems to score big goals right when we need them."
O'Connell (2-1-0) made three saves in the full 93:18 for his second win of the season, while Crawford, senior defender Ben Zambetti, junior defender Eddie McCusker, freshman defender Daniel Morales, and freshman midfielder Aidan Watkins all turned in full-match efforts.
"This was a great win for the guys, especailly coming off of a loss at Quinnipiac, so hopefully we can gain some momentum going on the road and get our first [road] win at VMI," added D'Ambra.
Saint Joseph's will begin a three-match road stretch at VMI (0-2-1) this Saturday, September 9. Kickoff at Patchin Field Lexington, Va. is slated for noon.
MATCH NOTES: After missing the first three matches of the season, senior defender Kevin Lockhart got the start and played 58 minutes on the back line... Senior midfielder Matt Crawford now owns five goals on the season, which is just two away from his goal total (7) from last year... Crawford has scored in all three of SJU's home matches this year.