Child's Two Goals Lift STAC Men's Soccer over UDC, 3-2
Laurie Child's highlight-reel goal - his second of the game - in the 61st minute proved to be the difference as the St. Thomas Aquinas College men's soccer team held off University of District of Columbia, 3-2, at Eugene Levy Park. With the East Coast Conference victory, the Spartans now stand at 5-5-3, overall and 2-3-2 in ECC action, with UDC now at 4-7-2, 1-5-1.
Keeping with their recent pattern, the Spartans bolted to a multi-goal lead, only to see their opponents close the gap. Child broke the seal on the scoring at 37:39, taking a pass from Daniel Davren and chipping an artistic shot over UDC goalkeeper Omar Gonzalez to put the hosts ahead. The lead was increased at 43:17 when Davren hit net with a blast from well outside the box, with Sean Reilly picking up the assist.
STAC outshot the visitors by a decisive 12-4 margin in the first half and carried the momentum into the second half when Child scored what was likely the goal of the year. Davren's dangerous shot from deep on the left side was batted down by Gonzalez, in the six-yard box. In the ensuing battle for the rebound, Child - with his back to the net, flicked a bicycle kick over the outstretched keepers fingertips and into the top corner, putting the Spartans up 3-0 at the 60:05.
The Firebirds answered just minutes later, with Bakaray Coulibaly beating STAC keeper Andrew Tartara on an assist from Byron Brown at 64:33. Elio Hernandez pulled the visitors within one at 73:45, converting a nifty cross from Simon Bratke to make the score 3-2.
After some tense final minutes, the Spartans were able to hold on for their third straight win, and they are now 3-0-1 in their last four games. Both Tartara and Gonzalez were credited with five saves, while UDC closed the shots gap in the second half though STAC maintained a final 18-12 edge.
This Saturday, October 20, the Spartans make their first trip to play an ECC tilt at Roberts Wesleyan, with kickoff slated for 4:00 pm. They will then close out the 2012 campaign on Saturday, October 27, in a Senior Day tilt against Mercy College at Eugene Levy Park.