Sophomore Jared Spieker was the late game hero once again, as he scored with 13 seconds remaining in regulation to give Central Connecticut State University a 1-1 tie versus St. Francis (PA) in the Blue Devils' Northeast Conference opener on Friday. CCSU is now 5-2-1 on the season and will continue the home stand when NEC opponent Robert Morris comes to New Britain on Sunday October 4 for a 1:00 p.m. match.
Although it was the Blue Devils that were the aggressor in the opening period, totaling 16 shots to St. Francis's six, the Red Flash got on the board first when sophomore David Butler scored his second goal of the season in the 19th minute of play. Senior Daniel Moir started the attack with a shot from the left side of the box. CCSU goalkeeper Paul Armstrong made one of his two saves in the period by deflecting it out to the right. Butler found the rebound and one-timed it into the back of the net to give the Red Flash the 1-0 lead.
St. Francis went into halftime with the 1-0 lead. CCSU tallied four corner kicks to only one from the Red Flash. St. Francis goalkeeper Darius Motazed tallied six saves in the opening frame.
Central stayed on the offensive in the second half, notching 15 shots in the period. The Blue Devils were ready to even the game as the buzzer got closer to sounding. With just under seven minutes remaining in regulation, sophomore Eduardo Ortiz played a ball across the box to a streaking Taylor Morgan who one-timed it straight at the keeper. Less than two minutes later senior captain Eddie Floyd received a ball just outside the box and fired a rocket that was out of Motazed's reach, but was also inches wide of the goal.
CCSU finally tied the game at the 89:47 mark in the second half when Morgan crossed the ball from the left side of the box and found Spieker's foot. The sophomore defender tied the game at 1-1 and put the game into overtime. It was not the first time Spieker showed late game heroics this season. Earlier this year he scored the game-winning goal with less than two minutes remaining in the second overtime of a 2-1 win over Holy Cross.
Neither team would score during the two 10 minute overtime periods and CCSU and St. Francis both ended with a 1-1 tie in the first conference game for the teams. Central finished with a 37-12 shot advantage and tallied 12 corner kicks to St. Francis's five. Armstrong totaled six saves, while Motazed needed to stop 12 shots to come up with the tie for the Red Flash.
The Blue Devils are now 5-2-1 on the season and 0-0-1 in NEC play. They will next play at home on Alumni Day, Sunday October 4 against Robert Morris.