Men's Soccer defeats Methodist, 4-3, in season-opening overtime thriller

Men's Soccer defeats Methodist, 4-3, in season-opening overtime thriller

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—A goal from freshman Spencer Nichols with 35 seconds left in overtime helped the Birmingham-Southern men's soccer team open the 2013 season with a 4-3 victory against Methodist University, Friday evening at BSC Soccer Park.

It was the season opener for both teams, playing in the annual Jim 'n Nick's/Puma Labor Day Classic, hosted by Birmingham-Southern.

The Monarchs pulled ahead 2-0 after 35 minutes of play before the Panthers cut it to 2-1 in the 38th minute when junior Johannes Loeffler scored off an assist from freshman Ryan Gill. Methodist extended its lead to 3-1 in the 56th minute.

In the 74th minute, BSC kept the Monarchs from going up 4-1 when junior goalkeeper Jonas Heidrich saved a penalty kick goal, and Loeffler scored again for BSC in the 85th minute, cutting the lead to 3-2 on a free kick.

As the final seconds of the game counted down, the Panthers had another free kick opportunity and were able to find the back of the net as senior Brooks Busby connected to tie it up 3-3 with 19 seconds left in the game. The Monarchs had one last chance to score, but the shot was high, sending the game to overtime.

Nearly all of the first 10-minute golden-goal overtime period ticked by, with each team getting a couple of chances to score, before Nichols scored the game-winner off an assist from freshman Dylan Rose with 35 seconds left on the clock to give the Panthers the 4-3 victory.

BSC led in shots, 18-14, and shots-on-goal, 10-6. Heidrich played the entire game in the net and recorded two saves, while Methodist goalkeeper Nick Martens made five saves.

It was a contentious game, with 10 cards being issued—five to each team—and the teams being whistled for 47 total fouls.

The teams are back in action on Sunday with Methodist facing Rhodes College (who defeated Emory & Henry College earlier this afternoon, 6-0) at 11 a.m., and BSC facing Emory & Henry at 1:30 p.m.