Springfield, Mass. - September 23, 2009 - Eric Stalsburg netted his third goal of the season, but the visiting Tufts Jumbos sent the game into overtime with a goal in the final 2:10 of regulation as the Springfield College men's soccer team picked up a 1-1 tie on Wednesday evening.
Springfield, which earned its first draw of the 2009 season, now stands at 2-4-1, while the Jumbos improve to 0-3-1.
Despite having the same amount of shots as the Jumbos in the first half, Springfield controlled the tempo of play in the opening stanza. The duo of Stalsburg and Cody Kaczetow caused fits for the Tufts defense and Stalsburg finally struck in the 36th minute. After Casey Leslie let loose a shot that was deflected out of bounds, Springfield was awarded a corner kick. Off the corner kick, Joe Baia sent in a hard, driven ball into the box, which Stalsburg headed into the lower left corner of the net to give Springfield it’s first goal of the match.
The visitors played with a higher sense of urgency in the second half, outshooting the Pride, 5-3, and using plenty of physical play up front. The Jumbos intensity finally paid off as they netted the game-tying goal in the waning minutes of regulation. With just 2:10 remaining, Stratos Saropoulos made the most of a Springfield miscue in the defensive third. After Dan Schoening flicked a header inside the 18 yard box, Saropoulos blasted a shot into the back of the net, knotting the game at a goal apiece.
Springfield nearly scored the game-winner with just over a minute remaining in the first overtime after David Kotulski sent a terrific through ball onto a streaking Kaczetow. Kaczetow slid as he let a shot off inside the six yard box, but his attempt went just wide right of the goal.
Tufts had the two best chances in the second overtime for either team as Matt Blumenthal nearly gave the visitors the victory on two seperate occasions. With seven minutes remaining, Blumenthal got loose at the top of the box, however, Springfield’s David Chessen used an outstanding individual defensive effort to thwart the Jumbo attack.
Four minutes later, Ron Coleman sent a ball along the endline into the box to a wide open Blumenthal, whose shot ricocheted off the cross bar. The game that was played very evenly statistically, as Tufts had 14 shots compared to the Pride's 13. The visitors held a slight 7-5 edge in corner kicks, while Springfield was flagged for eight offsides.
Chris Walton made six saves for the Pride, while Pat Tonelli needed to make just three saves for the Jumbos.
The Pride will return to action on Saturday afternoon when it travels to WPI for a conference clash slated for 6:00 pm.