Neal's Goal Lifts Men's Soccer; Spartans Down St. Anslem in 2OT, 3-2

Neal's Goal Lifts Men's Soccer; Spartans Down St. Anslem in 2OT, 3-2

The St. Thomas Aquinas Aquinas College men's soccer team rallied for their first win of the season, a 3-2 victory in double-overtime at St. Anselm College. Coming off an overtime loss in Friday's opener at Stonehill, the Spartans improved to 1-1, while the game was the season opener for St. Anselm.

Facing their second game in three days on their season-opening New England trip, the Spartans fell behind early when St. Anselm's Emmett O'Callaghan converted a free kick just 3:16 into the contest to put the hosts on top. With the first half winding down, Luis Morales was brought down in the box and his successful penalty kick knotted the score with just 2:26 remaining before the break.

In the second half, the hosts once again broke on top on O'Callaghan's second of the game at 54:31. With time winding down, St. Thomas Aquinas found the equalizer as Chris Estevez buried a cross from Jack Hanlon to tie the game at 2-2 with exactly 18 minutes left.

That score held up through the end of regulation, sending STAC to its second straight overtime to start the season. After a scoreless 10 minutes, the teams switched sides and the Spartans came through, with Neal converting a header from Cameron Pashely at 104:55 to boost the visitors to their first win of the season.

STAC outshot the hosts by a narrow 16-14 margiin, and Jack Nicholson made three saves in the Spartan net to preserve the win.

The Spartans are back on the road to face Holy Family on Monday, September 4, before playing their first games of the season at Spartan Field. STAC begins a stretch of three straight and six-of-seven at home when American International visits for a 3:00 pm start on Saturday, September 9, and their East Coast Conference schedule begins with a call from Daemen on Saturday, Septmeber 16, in a 2:00 pm kickoff.