WASHINGTON - Four seconds stood in the way of Gallaudet University's bid to take SUNY Poly, the top team in the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) men's soccer standings, into overtime here Saturday on Hoy Field.
Gallaudet (1-12-1, 1-7 NEAC) wasn't able to run out the clock out in the second half against SUNY Poly (12-3, 8-0 NEAC), who scored a gut-wrenching goal in the waning seconds to win 3-2.
Twice Gallaudet held the lead over SUNY Poly.
Twice the Wildcats scored equalizers and with four seconds left in regulation they scored the game-winning goal.
Defender Wakeley Banker sent up a lofting pass towards the Gallaudet goal in the closing seconds. The ball took a bounce and before Gallaudet goalie Shane Angel (Mechanicsville, Md.) could make a play on the pass a streaking Akeem Shelton hustled in and got his head on the ball and knocked it over Angel and into the net at the 89:56 mark. Shelton celebrated with a double somersault flip as the Poly bench stormed to the corner of the field while Gallaudet's players looked deflated.
GU scored the game's first goal in the 16th minute when sophomore midfielder Brian Espanto (San Antonio, Texas) assisted junior midfielder Raymond Mukhailov (Brooklyn, N.Y.) on his fifth goal of the season.
Later in the first half, SUNY Poly was awarded a penalty kick where Richie Morris buried the shot past Angel to tie the game, 1-1.
Gallaudet had its own last-second goal in the first half when sophomore defender Julien Cano (Avondale, Ariz.) assisted Espanto on his first goal of the season with two seconds left before the half. The Bison took a 2-1 lead into halftime.
The Bison held that one-goal margin until the 63rd minute when Morris scored on a long shot from the left side of the field, as the shot went into the upper right corner of Gallaudet's goal. Morris' 10th goal of the season tied the game once more.
The Wildcats held a 17-7 edge in shots and 9-3 advantage in corner kicks.
- Espanto led the team with two shots on goal
- Angel finished with five saves
GU will travel north to SUNY Cobleskill (7-4-3, 5-1-2 NEAC) next Saturday, Oct. 26, for a 1 p.m. conference game.