ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Saint Leo men’s soccer team (3-5, 0-2 SSC) dropped their third consecutive one-goal match Tuesday evening, as they fell to the Eckerd College Tritons (5-3, 3-0 SSC) 2-1 in Sunshine State Conference play from the Turley Athletic Complex. The defeat also marks the first loss to the Tritons since the 2003-04 season.
Daniel Asher put the Lions on the board first, as he connected with Leonardo Nogueira to give SLU 1-0 first half lead. Unfortunately, a pair of unanswered second half goals doomed the Lions chances at victory. Eckerd senior forward Luke Sheekey was a major contributor to the Triton efforts, as he connected on the equalizer in the early portions of the period before assisting on the eventual game-winner minutes later.
In the first half, the Lions came out on fire, as they blistered seven shots on the Eckerd goalkeeper, five of which were on net. In fact, the Lions outshot the Tritons 7-4 in the first half and their persistence on the offensive end paid off in the 37th minute when Asher put the Green & Gold on top 1-0. Nogueira dribbled the down the near sideline, made one move on a defender before sending a pinpoint cross to the left side of the box. Asher positioned himself in the perfect place as he scooped the ball up with his foot and slotted it into the back of the net.
SLU had multiple other opportunities to add to their lead, but an outstanding job in goal by EC keeper Domenic Spedaliere held the Lions to just the one tally through the first 45 minutes.
The outstanding job in net appeared to light a fire under the Eckerd offense in the second half, especially Sheekey. Of the Tritons' 14 shots, he registered half of them. One of his seven attempts connected in the 53rd minute of the game when he put away a rebound chance off a failed header inside the box. He made his presence known again just ten minutes later in the 63rd minute. The forward sent a through ball into the box where his teammate, Anthony Arico, punched it home for the go-ahead goal.
The Lions did not lie down though as they continued to draw chances towards the end of the game. However, the team could not register a shot on target during the final 45 minutes of play. The Lions soon ran out of time as Eckerd remained undefeated in conference action.
The Tritons outshot SLU 14-13 on the evening, while registering five corners to the Lions' three.
Lions’ goalkeeper, Erik Mozzo, had another terrific night in net for SLU despite the loss. The freshman registered four saves on the night as he slipped to 3-5 on the season.
The Lions continue Sunshine State Conference action on Saturday, October 3rd against the Florida Teach Panthers from University Field. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.