DAYTON, Ohio - Despite a highlight-reel match from Saint Joseph's junior defender Eddie McCusker, Dayton's Jonas Fjeldberg scored in the 93rd minute on a blast from 20 yards out as the Saint Joseph's men's soccer squad dropped a 3-2 overtime heartbreaker to Dayton in Atlantic 10 action on Baujan Field on Wednesday evening. It was the conference opener for the Hawks, who drop to 2-6-3 overall (0-1-0 A-10), while the Flyers improve to 5-5-2 (2-0-0 A-10).
McCusker and senior defender Ben Zambetti each scored their first collegiate goals for the Crimson and Gray.
Zambetti, who was back in the line-up for his first match since September 12, didn't waste any time making his presence felt. The senior, positioned at the front post, took a pass off of a corner kick from freshman midfielder Ritchie Barry and headed his shot to the left of diving Dayton goalkeeper Federico Barriors to put the Hawks up early, 1-0, in the 10th minute of play.
The Flyers netted the equalizer on a breakaway situation in the 21st minute and headed home the go-ahead goal early in the 45th minute to take a 2-1 advantage into the halftime break.
However, another rookie-midfielder-to-veteran-defender connection would unfold for the Hawks, as freshman midfielder Aidan Watkins fired off a free kick and McCusker, at the penalty spot, headed his shot into the upper-left corner for the equalizer.
The Flyers would land three more shots on goal in regulation, but Saint Joseph's senior goalkeeper Greg O'Connell made a pair of saves (59', 78') and SJU freshman midfielder Alvin Dahn earned the Hawks a team save (78') when he cleared the ball off the line to force the match into overtime.
For the match, O'Connell (2-6-2, 0-1-0 A-10) made four saves in the full 92:55.
In addition to scoring the second-half equalizer, McCusker was a strong force on the defensive end of the field, which included a key play in the 81st minute in which he hung with Dayton's offensive player and forced the ball out of play, preventing the Flyers' attack of what could have been a clear goal-scoring opportunity.
Dayton owned a 20-12 advantage in shots, including an 11-4 second-half, while Saint Joseph's held a 9-7 edge in corner kicks, with six coming in the first half.
Saint Joseph's returns home to host George Mason (5-3-2, 0-1-1 A-10) this Saturday, October 7. Kickoff is slated for 7:00 p.m. on Sweeney Field. The Patriots played Fordham to a 1-1 draw before falling to George Washington, 1-0, on Wednesday evening.