At Library Field, Spring Hill College took a heart-stopping 3-2 men's soccer victory away from Harris-Stowe State University (Mo.) in double overtime as junior co-captain Sean Simpson of Ballwin, Mo., scored on a penalty kick in the game's 102nd minute. Set up by a handball by Hornets defenseman Cris Garces inside the goalie's box, Simpson's shot sailed past the diving outstretched hands of Matt Gamache and sent the Badger team into a frenzied celebration in the championship match of the SHC Invitational.
Spring Hill's penalty kick goal to end the game was a convenient bookend to the way the afternoon's scoring started. HSSU (2-3-1) midfielder Lucas Rodrigues Alves scored the Hornets' first goal on a penalty kick at the 13:23 mark following a holding call on Badger defensemen Deven Arnold in front of the net. The Hornets would later expand their lead in the 77th minute when Scot Vorwold scored past Badger goalie Cory Bronenkamp, a freshman from St. Louis, Mo.
Freshman Senyo Amedo of Birmingham, however, refused to be disheartened by the two-goal deficit and answered back with a goal just one minute later off an assist by freshman forward Patrick Hall of Mobile. Amedo's goal seemed to energize his teammates who turned up the offensive pressure. Hall would tie the game just three minutes later at 81:18 when he punched in a ball ricocheting in front of the goal off the feet of Simpson and sophomore forward Stanley Byrd of Moss Point, Miss.
Neither team could break the scoring ice of the first overtime, but Spring Hill's stamina outlasted Harris-Stowe's as both teams visibly fought their exhaustion in the afternoon heat.
Following the match, Spring Hill Head Coach Adam Pearce said, "This team is a very hard working and dedicated team. Today every player, from our starters to our reserves kept up a relentless effort and showed never-ending heart. It just goes to show how they are continually defining what this team is about and what this program will be about in the future."
Despite trailing early, the Badgers appeared to control the game offensively throughout the match but just could not find the right combination to score, especially in the first half when several scoring opportunities were missed. "We talked about that issue at halftime," Pearce said, "I told the team we had good service, but poor finishing. They never gave up and our quality showed up as we pressed on."
Spring Hill moves to 1-1-1 on the season and travels to Thomasville, Ga., on September 15 and 16 to take on Reinhardt College and Thomas University.