Tyler Hartlage scored off a set free kick from near midfield in the 69th minute to lead visiting Spring Hill College to a 3-2 victory over Lee as SSAC play opened for both soccer clubs on Friday afternoon.
Hartlage recorded two of the Badgers’ three goals. His first score put the team from Mobile, Ala., on top 2-1 at the 35:06 mark in the first half. Arturo Garcia was credited with the first assist and Nick Link helped set up what turned out to be the game winner.
The Flames started quickly and jumped on top 1-0 when Sias Reyneke put a sliding shot past the Badger keeper. The tally came on a cross from Sebastian Vallejo. Jonathan Perelman also assisted on the play.
"We got up quickly (9:32) and I thought we missed some early chances to ice the game away," said coach Paul Furey after his Flames dropped to 3-3-1 overall.
"It was a tough one to lose, being our home game and conference opener."
Garcia tied the contest at 1-all on a shot from top of penalty box and off a center pass. The assist was delivered by Jose Scheuren.
After Hartlage put the Badgers on top 2-1, Lee came fighting back in the second half to knot the action at 2 on Josh Ball's score. Ball knocked in a corner kick that was delivered by Chevon Roberts.
However, the celebration was short lived. Some 70 seconds later, Hartlage stunned the Lee crowd with his second goal.
"We battled back, but then we dug ourselves a hole we could not get out of," pointed out Furey.
Lee had 17 shots on goal and had seven of those shots on target. Spring Hill took only nine shots. Four were on goal and three finished in back of the Flames' net. Jacob Files had four saves for the winners and Tom Halsall saved three in defeat.