ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Saint Leo men's soccer team (7-8-1) fell to the Eckerd College Tritons (8-8-2) in penalty kick fashion, 5-3, Tuesday evening from the Turley Athletic Complex. The Sunshine State Conference Tournament Quarterfinal loss brings the Lions 2012 season to a close.
Saint Leo and Eckerd, competing in their second overtime game of the year, saw a scoreless affair through regulation and both overtime sessions, before having the game decided in penalties. In the penalty session, the Tritons connected on each of their five tries, while Saint Leo's second attempt fell just short of breaking the line, eventually solidifying the final outcome.
Still, the two teams entertained fans to another physical contest as the pair played to a scoreless opening 45 minutes.
Saint Leo's initial offense was generated by three different Saint Leo strikers as they totaled three shot shots during the first half. Additionally, the rigid Lions' back four controlled the pace of action on the defensive side of the ball as they kept the fifth-seeded Tritons shot-less through the opening stanza.
Physicality gave way to finesse in the second half as neither team committed a foul until the 64th minute.
Playing into the hands of the Lions, Saint Leo continued to increase pressure in the second half as the Lions' Aaron Gendreau forced Andrew Hoffer to make a sprawling save in the 55th-minute.
Still, the Tritons' Hoffer and the Eckerd defense managed to keep the attacking Lions off the scoreboard.
The stalemate continued through the end of regulation, with momentum swinging back towards the home standing Tritons late in the second half. Eckerd countered with a strong effort in the first overtime, while the Lions recaptured their pace in the second extra session. Still, neither team could break the line.
Being forced into penalties for the second consecutive season, the Lions made good on three of their first four tries, but it was not enough as Eckerd punched home all five of their attempts to advance to the next round of the SSC Tournament.
In total, Saint Leo compiled 11 shots, while Manuel Schoenhuber posted five saves over the course of the game. The two teams also combined for 16 fouls and 10 corner kicks.
For more on the men's soccer program, visit SaintLeoLions.com. Also, be sure to 'follow' the Lions on Twitter at Twitter.com/SaintLeoLions, and 'Like' the Lions on Facebook at Facebook.com/SaintLeoLions.
This postgame recap is brought to you by Papa Joe's Italian Restaurant. Located in Brooksville, Fla. Contact Papa Joe's at 352-799-3904 for dine in, or catering needs.