WALTHAM, Mass. – Sean Sullivan scored 5:30 into the first overtime to give Bentley University a 2-1 victory over the Saint Anselm College men's soccer team in a pivotal Northeast-10 Conference contest on Tuesday afternoon.
With both teams seeking a win to improve their chances of earning a playoff spot, Nick Heckt put Saint Anselm (3-9-1, 3-7-1 NE10) on top early in the second half, but Julian Stewart struck with a little over 10 minutes to go to pull Bentley (4-9-2, 4-6-2 NE10) level. The score stayed tied until Sullivan scored the decisive goal midway through the first overtime.
The win temporarily pulls the Falcons into the eighth and final spot in the NE10 standings ahead of tonight's game between American International and Franklin Pierce. The loss eliminates the Hawks from contention for the NE10 Championship.
The teams combined for just two shots, both by the Falcons, in the opening 45 minutes. Connor Mote fired a 25-yard shot straight at Helio Meirelles Neto in the 29th minute and, five minutes later, Stewart was free on the left edge of the box, but shot wide of the near post.
Heckt scored with Saint Anselm's first shot of the game in the 52nd minute. After the Hawks won the ball in their attacking end, Jack Heintzelman squared the ball to Heckt at the top of the box and the sophomore curled the ball into the lower-left corner of the goal for his fourth of the year.
Bentley had several chances to tie the game in the 15 minutes following Heckt's goal. Charlie Lopez sent a glancing header just over the cross bar in the 57th minute, two minutes before Neto parried a Stewart shot out for a corner. In the 61st minute, Neto made a close-range, sprawling save to deny Sullivan and Sullivan's rebound was blocked on the line. Stewart came within inches of tying the game in the 64th minute, rattling the cross bar from inside the box.
Bentley's pressure paid off with 10:44 to go, when Stewart collected a cross from the right wing by Chuck Leone, shifted the ball onto his right foot and slotted home to tie the game at 1-1. Neither team could find a winning goal in the remainder of regulation, as the teams headed to overtime locked at a goal apiece.
Five minutes into the extra session, Jake Goldstein drew a save from Neto from 25 yards out, shortly before Sullivan's winner. For the winner, Stewart sent in a cross from the right wing and Neto got a finger tip to Sullivan's shot at the back post but could not keep it out.
Saint Anselm plays its second game in as many days at Queens (N.Y.) on Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 3:30 p.m. before finishing NE10 play at nationally-ranked Southern Connecticut on Friday, Oct. 27.