SAINT LEO, Fla. – The Saint Leo University men’s soccer team (7-5-1, 4-2 SSC) edged the Barry University Buccaneers (10-4, 3-4 SSC), 3-2 Saturday evening at University Field.
The Lions were appropriately led by senior Eusebio Montoya, as he opened up the scoring for the Lions, planting one of his two shots in the back in the net on senior night. Jonathan Glenn was another Lion not afraid to shoot, totaling seven shots on the evening, including two on goal. One of those two shots soared past the ‘keepers’ gloves for his seventh tally of the year. He also fed Montoya for the opening assist, giving him a three-point night. Bruce Cutler solidified the Lions win with the eventual game-winner on a penalty kick in the 62nd minute for his second goal of the year. Whitsett added his sixth assist of the season on Glenn’s goal.
The Lions played their style of soccer for the first 45 minutes sprinting up and down the field trying to wear out the Buccaneers defense. The strategy worked, as Montoya struck for the first goal of the game and his 11th overall. Glenn rushed the center of the field to the top of the 18-yard box where he fed a flashing Montoya in the six-yard box. After settling the ball down, Montoya stopped and ripped a shot past the diving arm of the Barry goaltender to put the Lions up 1-0.
SLU continued to put the pressure on the Bucs, as Glenn started a second rush towards the Buccaneers goal. After driving through multiple defenders in the middle of the field, he gave the ball up to Whitsett on the right near touchline. Glenn continued to drive toward the area, as Whitsett touch-passed it back to an open Glenn. The sophomore drove the ball just underneath the crossbar for a beautiful give-and-go goal.
The Lions 2-0 lead was cut in half less than thirty seconds later, as Barry’s Vuk Kojic used persistence and pressure to put the ball past Griffin Pharr. The goal left the Lions with a 2-1 advantage heading into the locker room.
The second half was a back and forth battle with each side generating great chances. The Lions were able to increase their lead to 3-1 after Montoya was pulled down in the box setting up a successful penalty kick for Cutler. The Bucs received a break though in the 79th minute, as they too were rewarded a penalty kick which they converted, cutting the Lions lead to 3-2. As the pressure from the Buccaneers offense continued to increase in the attempt to equalize the match, so did the swarming defense of the Lions. The Lions defense did not break, securing a hard-fought win.
Pharr tallied seven saves on the evening off of 15 Barry shots and improved to 7-5-1 on the season.
The Lions outshot the Buccaneers 21-15 with nearly half of those shots being on goal.
The Lions take a break from SSC action as Southeastern University will be making an appearance at University Field. The match is set to begin on Tuesday, October 21 at 7:00 p.m.