Clemson, S.C. -
The Gardner-Webb men's soccer team dropped a hard-fought match on Tuesday
night, as Clemson scored with only ten seconds remaining in the second overtime
period to defeat the Runnin' Bulldogs, 2-1, in Clemson, S.C.
The loss is the third straight by the Runnin' Bulldogs and
drops GWU to 3-5-2 on the season.
With the win, Clemson improves to 3-4 on the year.
The two teams both searched for control of the ball in the
opening minutes, trading one shot apiece over the first 25 minutes of play.
Action picked up over the next six minutes of play, as Clemson
was able to put some offensive pressure on the Runnin' Bulldogs' defense, as
Bryniar Benediktsson placed three shots on goal, two of which were stopped by
GWU goalkeeper Scott Krotee, while the third was blocked by a Runnin' Bulldog
defender, putting the visitors on their heels.
Benediktsson and the Tigers broke through in the 37th
minute, as he recorded his third goal of the year off an assist from fellow
teammate Jack Metcalf, to put the home team up 1-0.
Gardner-Webb had three chances to tie the score up before
the half, however, Clemson goalkeeper Cody Mizell made a stop on both a Julian Morris and a Chris Davis shot attempt to keep the Tigers in front at 1-0 at the
In the second half, the Runnin' Bulldogs outplayed the
Tigers, outshooting Clemson 9-5 in the 45 minute period.
Redshirt-senior Eric Asanin-Miroux and freshman Denzel Clarke each recorded shots to start the second half of play, setting the tone
for the second half.
Over the next several minutes, GWU's John Sargent and Jalen Gathers each put shots on target, only to be stopped by Clemson's Mizell, while
a shot by Jordan Day sailed wide in the 57th minute, giving the Runnin'
Bulldogs a 5-0 shot advantage in the early stages of the second half.
After the two teams continued to trade shots back-and-forth,
the Runnin' Bulldogs finally got on the scoreboard, as Clarke tallied his first
career goal in the 90th minute, receiving a well-played ball from teammate
Asanin-Miroux and capitalizing on the his shot attempt, to tie the match up at
1-1 with less than a minute remaining.
Clemson's last ditch effort by Metcalf at the 89:45 mark
sailed high, leaving the score at 1-1 and sending the match into overtime.
In the extra frame, Clarke looked to win the match early,
putting a shot on line in the 94th minute, forcing Mizell to make another save
for the Tigers.
After each team had a shot attempt misfire, GWU's Davis had
a last second scoring opportunity prevented once more by Mizell in the net for
the Tigers, sending the match into a second overtime period.
Fatigue set in from the very start of the second overtime
frame, as neither team could get that scoring chance to put the match
away. However, with ten seconds
left in the match, Benediktsson was able to find the back of the net for the
second time in the match and the fourth on the year to help the Tigers escape
with the last second 2-1 double-overtime win at home over the Runnin' Bulldogs.
Krotee was solid in the net for the Runnin' Bulldogs,
posting four saves on 15 Clemson shot attempts in the loss, while Mizell earned
the win with six saves over 109:50 minutes of play.
Gardner-Webb, which outshot Clemson 16-15 for the match, was
led by Sargent's five shot attempts, while Davis and Clarke each had three
Benediktsson did it all for the Tigers, has he led the way
with nine shots, putting five on frame, including the two goals.
Gardner-Webb (3-5-2), which falls to 1-9-0 all-time versus the
Tigers with the loss, will return to conference play this weekend, as the
Runnin' Bulldogs will take on the Campbell Fighting Camels on Saturday night at
7 p.m. in Buies Creek, N.C.