WORCESTER -- With the end of the second overtime looming, Chris Murray (Canton, MA) flicked home the game-winning goal in the 108th minute and visiting WPI emerged with an emotional, 1-0 win over Clark in New England Women's And Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) men's soccer action on Saturday.
Murray's golden goal, which came off of a feed from Kurt Naugler (Westford, MA) capped a back and forth affair that was evenly play but wound up going on the side of the Engineers for the fifth straight meeting – all of which have come by one goal.
The win for WPI (1-0 NEWMAC) pushes their overall record to 6-1-1, while the Cougars (2-4-1, 0-1 NEWMAC) have dropped four straight – the last three by one goal and the last two in double-overtime.
WPI got on the board first when Naugler sent an excellent ball across the lower part of the box that Brenden Nemes (Kingston, MA) was able to touch home past Connor Maguire (Dunstable, MA) for his third goal of the season in the 11th minute.
Things looked to be going into half time that way but Michael Spanos (Waterford, CT) delivered a beautiful pass from right to left about 40 yards in the air that hit a streaking Yousef Shahin (Bridgeport, CT) right in the chest as he entered the box on the left side. Shahin got the ball under control and with a defender hanging on him, fired a strike past Connor Hoeckele (Granby, CT), knotting the score at 1-1 with 1:08 left in the half.
Both teams had their own chance to move ahead in the second half but great goalkeeper saves kept each team at bay. First Maguire turned aside an opportunity by Reese Petersen (Springfield, NJ) in the 74th minute and then Hoeckele denied Tim Rovnak (Portland, ME) with a diving stop in the 75th minute.
The Engineers broke through at 107:10 when Naugler sent his free kick into the box and Murray was able to direct home.
"I am very pleased with the competitiveness of our team, remarked WPI head coach Brian Kelley. "Given that it was our third double overtime game in just seven days I am very proud that we dug deep today and came up with three important points!"
Amazingly, the stat sheet was pretty even with WPI holding a 16-15 edge in overall shots and a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks.
Hoeckele made five saves for the visitors, while Maguire made three for the Cougars.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday for out of conference contests. WPI visits Salve Regina and Clark plays host to Bridgewater State.
Release Courtesy Clark Sports Information