TULSA, Okla. – Overtime matches and late game heroics have been par for the course for the Oral Roberts University men’s soccer team this season, and the trend continued at home on Monday evening as the Golden Eagles sent home Central Arkansas with a 2-1 double-overtime loss.
With the victory, ORU (6-6-3) reached the .500 mark after 15 games for the first time since 2009. The Golden Eagles are unbeaten in nine of their last 11 matches, including four double-overtime matches. In seven total overtime matches this season, the Golden Eagles are 2-2-3.
Central Arkansas fell to 4-10-1 with the loss, extending its losing streak to four games.
The Bears jumped out to a lead in the 19th minute as Taylor Hart collected a loose ball at the top of the box, placing it in the bottom left corner of the net to give the visitors a 1-0 lead over the Golden Eagles.
After being outshot 10-3 in the first half by the Bears, the Golden Eagles controlled the ball in the second stanza. However, missed opportunities and shutout down defense by the Bears in the final third of the field kept the Golden Eagles at bay until the final minutes.
As time began to tick away, ORU turned up the pressure. With 1:47 remaining in regulation, Gerardo Salas was called upon for a free kick from about 40 yards out. Straight away from the center of the net, Salas sent the ball into the box to set up Marco Hernandez who netted the goal to tie the match at one.
In the first overtime, the Bears quickly controlled the ball on their end of the field and went on the attack. Wes Carson had a chance to send the Bears home with win in the 94th minute, but Isaac Sandoval made a spectacular diving fingertip save to his right to keep the match going.
Sandoval (3-2-1) recorded seven total saves in the victory.
Just 16 seconds into the second overtime period, Johnny Chavez dribbled into the right corner of the pitch, sending the ball in to the box along the endline. Griffith Poindexter was able to get a head on the ball and put it in the back of the net for the golden goal.
It was Poindexter’s first goal of the season, while Hernandez earned his second. Poindexter led the Golden Eagles with two shots on target.
Leading the way for the Bears was Carson, Hart and Alex Ghffari who each had two shots on goal. Taran Meyer (2-4) recorded the loss between the posts, saving two ORU shots.
Saturday will be Senior Night for ORU as they host Denver at 8 p.m. at the Case Soccer Complex in a Summit League matchup. The Golden Eagles trail the Pioneers by one game heading into the next to last weekend of the regular season.