UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The Spider men's soccer team clipped conference foe Saint Joseph's, 3-2, in a two-overtime thriller on Sunday at Robins Stadium behind freshman midfielder Sean Baker's golden goal in the 108th minute. Sunday's win snaps the squad's four-match snide and gives the Spiders a 1-1 A-10 record following the first weekend of league play.
"We didn't have the started we wanted today, but to our boys' credit they fought back and persevered in the end," said head coach Clint Peay. "While we still need to be sharper in these games, this afternoon several guys had some big moments and made some key plays. At the right moment, I think the guys as a group stepped up today and we got a win because of it."
Richmond (2-8-1, 1-1-0 A-10) was forced to dig its way out of an early 2-0 deficit after St. Joe's (1-9-0, 0-2-0 A-10) tallied two scores in the opening half. Freshman midfielder Jake Nelson put the Hawks up in the eighth minute after receiving a feed from senior defender Greg Rom at the right post and sliding the ball past Spider goalkeeper Zac Brown (St. Paul, Minn./St. Paul Academy) into the center of the net.
Freshman forward Alex Critzos would extend the Hawks' advantage to 2-0 at the 23:54 mark when classmate Tommy Brooks found him on a cross to the center net, which Critzos connected on for a shot from just a few yards out.
The Spiders began to find their stride in the opening minutes of the second half. Sophomore defender Justin Karr (Chappaqua, N.Y./Horace Greeley) delivered a corner to the left post in the 50th minute, where junior defender Jonathan Stephenson (Columbia, Md./Mount Saint Joseph) was waiting to drill the ball into the left corner. Stephenson's score was his first of the fall.
With his team still down 2-1 with just under 15 minutes to play, junior captain Houston Oldham (Nashville, Tenn./Montgomery Bell Academy) took it into his own hands to even the score. Freshman midfielder Oliver Murphy (Washington Crossing, Pa./The Pennington School) found Oldham at the right post in the 76th minute, where he delivered a shot into the right corner past Hawks' keeper Andrew D'Ottavi for his first score of the season.
The match looked as if it was headed to an inevitable draw until the closing minutes of the second overtime period when the Spiders went on the offensive. Stephenson opened the attack with a header that clanged off the cross bar. Oldham then rocketed the ricocheted shot to the center net, where D'Ottavi just got a paw on it before Baker drilled home the rebound for the game's golden goal and his second score of the weekend.
Brown secured six saves between the pipes for the Spiders, while D'Ottavi came away with seven stops on the afternoon.
Richmond recorded a season-high 30 shots in the winning effort. The Hawks would finish with 17. The Spiders also held a 6-4 advantage on corner kicks in the match.
The Spiders head to Ohio to continue conference play this coming week, opening the weekend with a match against A-10 power Xavier on Friday at 7 p.m. Fans can stay up to date on all the latest Spider men's soccer news and notes right here on RichmondSpiders.com and on the team's Twitter page, @UR_MensSoccer.
SAINT JOSEPH'S AT RICHMOND
Robins Stadium - Richmond, Va.
Oct. 9, 2011
St. Joe's 2
0 0 0 - 2
Richmond 0 2 0 1 - 3
Scoring: UR: Jonathan
Stephenson (49:27), Houston Oldham (75:22), Sean Baker (107:42); SJU: Jake
Nelson (7:44), Alex Critzos (23:54)
Shots: UR 7 18 1 4 - 30, SJU 6 9 0 2 - 17
Corner Kicks: UR 2 4 0 0 - 6, SJU 2 1 1 0 - 4
Goalkeepers: UR: Zach Brown - 6 SV, 2 GA, 107:42, W; SJU: Andrew D'Ottavi - 7 SV, 3 GA, 107:42, L
Fouls: UR 8, SJU 17
Offsides: UR 0, SJU 2