Men’s Soccer Wins Double Overtime Thriller Against Lafayette to Take Sole PL Lead; Watch Video Highlights

Game-Winning Celebration
Game-Winning Celebration

The American University men's soccer team recovered from the brink of defeat to earn a thrilling, come-from-behind victory against Lafayette, 2-1, on Saturday afternoon at Reeves Field.

Video has no source Url in width="425" height="344">

With under a minute left in regulation play, AU trailed Lafayette 1-0, and it appeared that the Eagles were headed toward their first conference defeat of the season. As the 90th minute approached, junior Nick Kapus earned a free kick for the Eagles from approximately 30 yards outside the goal. In a matter of moments, 89 minutes of frustration for American ended as Kapus fired a rocket past Lafayette goalkeeper Andrew Pianko to tie the score at one.

Kapus' strike sent the match to sudden-death overtime and seemed to reenergize the Eagles. American had the best scoring opportunity in the first 10-minute overtime period as Mike Worden narrowly missed a header from short range with 1:43 to play. But this was merely a preview of what was to come for the Eagles.

The match moved to a second 10 minute overtime stanza, and this time, Worden converted his opportunity. The play was setup when senior Nidhal Charfi won a 50-50 ball in the middle of the field. His pass found Daniel Shannon, who played a perfectly-executed pass just behind the last line of Lafayette defenders. Shannon's pass caught Worden in stride, who was able to stay onsides and put a shot past Pianko. Worden's third game-winning goal of the season gave the Eagles a 2-1 victory and ignited a wild celebration at Reeves Field.

Lafayette (7-3-1, 2-1) scored its lone goal in the 34th minute of action. A long-range ball was flicked toward the American goal, and the normally sure-handed AU goalkeeper Matt Makowski fumbled it. Lafayette's Josh Brown was in perfect position to play the bounce, and put in any easy goal to give the Leopards a 1-0 advantage, a lead they held for the next 50-plus minutes.

In the match, American held a 21-15 advantage in shots, including an 8-5 margin in shots on goal. Shannon recorded a game-high eight shots for the Eagles, while Worden had five.

With the victory, the Eagles sit alone atop the Patriot League standings with nine points after three matches. American is unbeaten in its last five matches, which includes four victories and one tie.

"It's one of those typical, what we call, Patriot League wars," remarked American Head Coach Todd West on his live Eagles Vision TV interview moments after AU's victory. "I thought we didn't have our best soccer today, and we found a way to win. That's a testament to this group of guys."

The Eagles next match will take place this Tuesday, October 13 at 3 p.m. in a non-conference matchup versus Pennsylvania. American will return to Patriot League play at Navy next Saturday, October 17 at 7 p.m.

The match against Penn on Tuesday can also be watched live on Eagles Vision TV, part of AUeagles.com. The broadcast will feature multiple camera angles, a live scoreboard and analysis from a studio broadcast team and on-field reporters. For more information on Eagles Vision TV, click here.