With less than two minutes remaining in the final overtime period, sophomore Jared Spieker finished off a run out of the back with a one-touch shot into the back of the net to give the Central Connecticut State University men's soccer team a 2-1 victory over Holy Cross on Saturday afternoon in New Britain, CT. With the win the Blue Devils improve to 3-0 on the season, their best start since the 2002 campaign when they won their first three games of the year at home.
CCSU dominated play in the opening frame, outshooting Holy Cross nine to zero. The Blue Devils got on the board first when freshman Taylor Morgan scored his first career goal in the 41st minute. Junior midfielder Connor Smith controlled the ball on the left side of the box before he played it inside to freshman Joel Diamand. Diamand then one-timed it back to Smith on a give and go. Smith then fed the ball across the box to a streaking Morgan who finished it into the right side of the net past the Crusaders' senior goalkeeper, Thomas Booth.
Holy Cross stepped up their game following the halftime break. Putting pressure on CCSU, the Crusaders tied the game at one only 13 minutes into the second frame. After recording a save, Booth played a long ball up the field that got through the Central defenders and found the foot of sophomore Tony Rosales. The forward slid it by CCSU's Paul Armstrong for Holy Cross's first goal of the season.
After a hard fought battle throughout the rest of the second period, the teams were still tied at 1-1. The two teams both recorded seven shots in the half, giving CCSU a 16-7 shot advantage after regulation. The Blue Devils also held a 3-1 corner kick margin heading into overtime.
With less than two minutes remaining in the second of two overtimes, a cross from junior captain Robert Cavener found the head of junior Blaine Veldhuis. The junior defender's header was blocked by a Holy Cross defender and rebounded back out to the six yard line. Spieker, a South Windsor, CT native, ran onto the ball and one-timed it off of the left post and into the net to give CCSU the victory with 1:44 left on the clock. Veldhuis was credited with the assist on the play.
CCSU finished with a 22-12 shot advantage and recorded four corner kicks to Holy Cross's 2. Booth totaled eight saves in the game for the Crusaders, while Armstrong only needed to make one to get the win for the Blue Devils.
Central will next play when they host Yale on Wednesday September 16 at 4:00 p.m.