HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Gulf South opponents have certainly learned that when they face the Lee men’s soccer team, they had better be prepared to work overtime.
On Sunday afternoon against host Alabama-Huntsville, coach Paul Furey’s men again pushed their opponent to an extra period before carrying a 1-0 victory back to Cleveland. Since a Sept. 27 overtime loss to West Florida, the Flames have gone nine matches without a defeat and have been involved in eight overtime contests this season.
Furey’s Overtime Kids will close out the Gulf South portion of their season next Friday afternoon when they host Shorter University at 5 p.m. It’ll be Senior Night for the Flames, but they will still have a Florida road trip remaining to Clearwater and Palm Beach before beginning NCCAA tourney play.
“This was a very nice win on the road for us,” pointed out Furey. “UAH had just beaten the top two teams in the conference. So this places us in a position to battle for a second place finish in the GSC.”
Lee’s record improved to 8-3-4 overall and 7-2-4 in the Gulf South. Huntsville drops to 9-6-1, 7-6-0.
After regulation play ended at 0-0, the Flames pulled out the victory at the 4:55 mark of the OT period. Arturo Rocha, who was playing in his first match since returning from a knee injury, scored the winner on an assist from Justin Furey. “It was good to have Arturo back,” said coach Furey. “He obviously had an impact.”
Lee’s midfield and defenders controlled the pace, allowing the Chargers just six shots. Two of the shots were on target, but both were turned away by keeper Tommy Halsall.
“Out backline was absolutely solid again,” noted the coach. “They did not allow a shot on goal in the second half [or] overtime. They were also involved in our attack as well.”
The Flames fired 14 shots and eight were on goal. Charger keeper Brent Desilva kept his club in the match with six saves.
Lady Flames settle
for 1-1 draw
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Playing without its captain, Leah Fortune, the Lee women’s soccer team outshot host Alabama-Huntsville 28-4 on Sunday, but still was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw with the Chargers.
Fortune was away from her team while attending a wedding, but her Lady Flame teammates had more than their share of opportunities. However, they simply could not finish. Fourteen of the 28 shoots were on goal, and Huntsville keeper Iris Gunnarsdottir enjoyed a big afternoon, coming up with 12 saves. Haley Gribler had two saves for the Lady Flames
Lee missed a golden opportunity to take the lead in the 28th minute when Gunnarsdottir blocked a penalty kick by Chloe Rader.
After the opening 45 minutes ended at 0-0, the Chargers broke the scoring ice in the 47th minute when Sydnie Fiocca tallied on an assist from Maddie Maurice.
The Lady Flames found a way to tie the match in the 71st minute when Debbie Rogers sent her corner kick toward the net and Laura Thacker knocked in her eighth goal of the season.
Neither team mounted a serious attack in the first 10-minute overtime period, but the Lady Flames could not convert two shots on goal in the second OT.
The tie sends Lee’s record to 10-3-1 overall and 7-1-1 in the Gulf South. Huntsville has struggled most of the year and owns a 3-8-5 mark. The Chargers are 1-6-2 in GSC play.
The Lady Flames return to the Lee Soccer Field on Friday and will host Shorter University in its final conference match of the 2013 campaign. It will be Senior Night and the doubleheader with the Hawks will also serve as part of Lee's annual homecoming.