BABSON PARK, Fla.— After conceding the opening goal to Webber International, no. 21 Southeastern stormed back to defeat the Warriors in double overtime by a score of 2-1. Julian Hall’s third tally of the season secured the road triumph, helping SEU improve to 9-1-1 overall and remain perfect in conference play (5-0).
The Warriors put early pressure on the Fire, registering two shots on frame within the first two minutes of the contest, but Southeastern was able to immediately respond with six shots over the next ten minutes.
Eventually, SEU’s defense was worn down when a Webber striker flicked a ball over the top that was finished by Mateo Sassoni in the 18th minute, giving WIU a 1-0 advantage.
In the 37th minute, the Fire nearly evened the competition when Ben-Avir Espinal smashed a ball off the crossbar, but the shot stayed out of the back of the net and Espinal’s rebound trickled wide of the cage.
Despite outshooting the Warriors 12-7 in the opening half and getting all three corners of the contest in the first 45 minutes, the Fire trailed Webber 1-0 heading into the break.
Southeastern finally broke through in the 54th minute as Craig Barker, who is now riding a six-game point streak, whipped a ball across the face of goal that was powered home by Joey Dotson. Dotson’s second tally of the year leveled the match at one.
Southeastern’s sturdy back line shut down Webber’s attack for the rest of the game and allowed the offense to take control of the match. The Warriors, who collected two shots on goal in the first two minutes, only managed two for the rest of the match.
SEU registered 18 shots in regulation (eight on goal) compared to WIU’s ten (three on frame), while being in control of all ten corners that were taken in the match, but neither team would bury another goal in regulation, sending the contest to sudden death overtime.
With just 2:02 remaining in double overtime, Southeastern’s thirteenth corner kick of the game resulted in the winner. Jonathan Jimenez sent a ball into the box that was met by Hall, who slotted it past the Webber keeper, ending the competition after nearly 108 minutes of action. The victory extended SEU’s unbeaten streak to nine consecutive road contests.
Overall, the Fire rocketed season-highs in shots (23) and shots on goal (13). Jorge Navarrete finished with three saves, while WIU keeper Thomas Debladis added 11.
The Fire will take the field again on Saturday when they travel to St. Thomas for a matchup with the defending Sun Conference regular season and tournament champions. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Miami Gardens.