The St. Thomas Aquinas College men's soccer team opened the 2017 season with a tough 2-1 road loss in overtime at Stonehill College.
STAC struck early, as Ivan Dam sent a long cross to the foot of George Yusuff, who converted from the top of the 8-yard box to give the Spartans a 1-0 advantage at the 13:44 mark. That lead would hold through halftime as St. Thomas Aquinas held a 4-1 advantage in shots and took three of the four corners allocated in the first 45 minutes.
With the second half nearing the midway point, Stonehill finally converted the equalizer, as Adam Branco's header deadlocked the score at 64:29. STAC pressed for the go-ahead goal but goalkeeper Conor McDonough was equal to the task, recording six saved in the second half to send the game to extra time.
Entering the final minute of the first overtime session, James O'Shea played a nice through ball to Michael McShane, who ended the affair with the Golden Goal at the 99:35 mark. STAC held a 13-7 margin in shots on the day and won the corner kick battle by a 9-4 count, but that was not enough to keep the Spartans from suffering their first loss of the season.
STAC plays its second of three straight on the road to start the season on Saturday, traveling to face St. Anselm before going to Holy Family for a Labor Day contest on Monday. They will play their home opener at Spartan Field on Saturday, September 9, when American International visits for a 3:00 pm start, beginning a span of 6-of-7 games at home for St. Thomas Aquinas.