Seniors Kai Eckenrode and Jonathan Mendoza assisted on each others' goals, leading the Stetson men's soccer team (2-4-0) to a 2-1 double overtime victory over Florida Atlantic (1-6-1) on Wednesday night.
The Hatters, who lost in a very similar fashion only four days earlier, were on the better end of the results this time around, scoring the golden goal just 28 second into the second overtime period to defeat the Owls before returning to Atlantic Sun Conference play on October 7.
Eckenrode started the winning play, passing the ball through to a streaking Mendoza down the right side of the box. The speedy midfielder then played a ball across the box to junior Evan Jimmo. Instead of making an attempt on goal, the tall forward flicked Mendoza's pass on to Eckenrode who one-touched it into the back of the net.
The early attempt at goal in the second session wasn't anything new for Wednesday's fans. Stetson had good opportunity after good opportunity throughout the contest. In fact, 11 of the Hatters' 17 total shots came on target, a mark well better than the team's season average.
Although the two teams totaled 14 shots in the first half, neither squad was able to put anything on the scoreboard until five minutes into the second period. Eckenrode laid a ball off to Mendoza around 30 yards out on the right side of the field. Playing the ball with the outside of his right foot, the senior midfielder curved his shot through a number of FAU defenders; bending it just enough to come back into the goal frame at the far post.
The 1-0 lead stood for the Hatters through almost the entirety of regulation. With nine more shot attempts in the half, Stetson seemed to be in control as the clock started to wind down. Fortunately for the Owls, a hiccup for the Hatter defense awarded FAU a free kick from just outside the box. That was when Vincent DiBullo's shot deflected off of a member of Stetson's wall, and found the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1 with just less than four minutes to play.
There was no quit in Stetson, as the team went on the offense from the first whistle of overtime. That didn't pay dividends until the start of the second 10 minutes, when Eckenrode, Jimmo, and Mendoza connected for the final score of the game.
The Hatters finished with 17 shots to Florida Atlantic's 16, while both teams totaled five corner kicks in the contest. Junior Andreas Schnabl made two saves in the victory, while Jeremy Crumpton and Scott Powers combined for nine saves in the loss.
Stetson will next return to A-Sun action, playing at Mercer on Sunday, October 7 at 1:00 p.m.
Coach Fleck Interview
Jonathan Mendoza Interview
Kai Eckenrode Interview