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Mace & Crown | March 26, 2017

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Men's Soccer Team Shines in Double Overtime Thriller

Men’s Soccer Team Shines in Double Overtime Thriller

Matt O’Brien
Sports Editor

The Old Dominion men’s soccer team entered their second conference matchup of the season Saturday. The Monarchs remain the no.12 ranked team in the country (6-0-1) having not lost since August, 28. The men dominated Florida Atlantic down in Boca Raton, FL however it took two overtime periods to get the deciding goal.

After having a game cancellation on Wednesday and having issues getting on the practice field there was some question that the team might be out of a groove.

“It was a shame VCU was postponed. they would have been a nice test for our guys as we continue conference play,” said head Coach Alan Dawson.

ODU was limited on the practice field on Wednesday and Thursday due to inclement weather but seemed to benefit from some warm weather in Florida. The Monarchs got off to a quick start after a goal in the 23rd minute from Junior midfielder Cole Stringer. The goal came off a free kick set up by none other than Captain Ivan Militar. It marks the fourth time this season Militar has assisted or scored on a free kick this season. The assist is the 18th of his career, tying him for eighth all time in ODU history.

The offense did not stop there. The monarchs demonstrated quality ball control and kept the opposing defense very busy generating nine shots in the first half. Monarch defensive backs hardly allowed any opportunities on their end, surrendering just one shot into the half.

Despite the offensive domination, FAU struck even just a few minutes into the second half. Elijah McDonald was able to dribble past monarch defenders. It seemed it was their only blunder during an otherwise stellar defensive performance. With FAU still searching for their first victory of the season the desperation in their play became apparent.

The Monarchs best chance to seal the victory in regulation came off a Michael Nelson header in the 72nd minute. Nelson’s header just missed the back of the net and ricocheted off the crossbar. The two teams would remain deadlocked for another 30 minutes as one period of extra time was not enough.

With just four minutes remaining in the second overtime period, sophomore defender Garret Walke floated a ball from just outside the box over FAU goalkeeper Josh Nolan, giving the Monarchs a thrilling 2-1 win. Walke has only appeared in one game this season, coming off the bench against Charlotte. The game winner was the first goal of his career.

With the win the Monarchs remain undefeated in conference play (2-0-1) putting them in second place in the conference.

“It’s a huge win for us. We have some great momentum going forward and we should be serious contenders in the conference,” said Dawson