East, Greene heroics help Gulls lift Elmer Lord Classic trophy

East, Greene heroics help Gulls lift Elmer Lord Classic trophy

SALISBURY, Md. – The Elmer Lord Soccer Classic was entertaining to say the least in the final day, as the No. 19 Salisbury University men's soccer team made a two-goal comeback to tie the State University of New York at Brockport, 2-2, in the final game Saturday afternoon to hoist the championship trophy for the fourth-consecutive year.

In a physical battle from start to finish, senior forwards Tanner East and Matt Greene showed second-half heroics to get the Sea Gulls (1-0-1) back into a game that had them trailing 2-0 at the half.

Salisbury saw the best chance to get on the board first in the ninth minute. Greene, with the ball on the edge of the 18-yard box, dribbled into scoring position but was brought down by a Brockport defender, drawing a yellow card and a penalty kick opportunity. East lined up for the kick and looking for the bottom left corner, hit the post leaving the score 0-0.

The Sea Gulls would fall behind after two goals by the Golden Eagles, taking a 2-0 deficit into halftime.

The second half was hard fought as the Gulls came out surging on both sides of the field. Taking eight shots and only allowing two by Brockport, Salisbury found itself right where it wanted to be come the closing minutes of the match. Just nine minutes in, Greene and East connected for the Gulls' first goal of the game. Pulling the defense in his direction at the top of the 18, Greene played a quick pass over to East, who was cutting in from the right. Collecting the ball and drawing the keeper out, the senior forward fired a low shot into the left corner to bring Salisbury within one of the Golden Eagles.

After a second yellow card in the 59th minute to Brockport's Mark Sylvia brought upon a red card, the Golden Eagles found themselves down a man for the remainder of the game. Trailing 2-1, Salisbury saw various opportunities just miss the target. With time winding down and a 10-minute breather for the starting offense, the attack looked rejuvenated for the final eight minutes of regulation.

With just seven minutes remaining, the Gulls were awarded a free kick on the right side of the 18-yard box. Greene, taking honors on the kick, played a short, lined ball to the front post where he found East for a quick touch off his foot and into the back of the net.

With no decision made in regulation, the teams headed to overtime. Salisbury took three shots, but couldn't finish, pushing the game into a second 10 minutes. Senior forward Benjamin Aryeetey ripped the only shot of the second overtime from the top of the 18, but Brockport's goalkeeper Casey Sullivan pulled it in. The defense for the Sea Gulls eliminated any opportunities in both overtimes, holding the Golden Eagles without a shot through 20 minutes.

Senior Kyle Westbrook and the defense held Brockport to just six shots for the game, while Salisbury took 14. Junior goalkeeper Drew Staedeli recorded the tie, playing all 110 minutes and making one save.

East finished the game with two goals, while Greene added two assists. Recording four assists and two goals for the tournament, Greene was awarded the tournament's Most Valuable Player.

The men are back in action September 6, as they travel to St. Mary's City, Maryland for the Seahawk Classic. The Sea Gulls will take on Baldwin Wallace University at 4 p.m. on Friday at St. Mary's College of Maryland.

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