SALISBURY, Md. – A tough battle at the SU Soccer Complex Saturday afternoon resulted in the Salisbury University men's soccer team's second draw of the season, as the Sea Gulls and William Paterson University played through 110 minutes for a 0-0 final.
Various shots were traded in the first half, but the first close opportunity didn't take place until the 32nd minute. A corner kick by the Pioneers floated over Salisbury goalkeeper Drew Staedeli's gloves, and diving in from the backside was William Paterson's Marcus Hackett connecting on a header that pushed high into the crossbar.
Staedeli pulled in two saves in the first half of play, while the Salisbury offense was only able to connect on one shot on goal.
The second half played much more even on both offensive attacks, as the Gulls blasted nine shots and the Pioneers had seven chances.
Just 30 seconds into the final 45 minutes of regulation, senior midfielder Stephen Poorman crossed a lofted ball into the back left corner of the six-yard box where the ball landed at the feet of senior forward Benjamin Aryeetey. A tough first touch pushed the ball too far out front for Aryeetey to have a chance as Pioneer goalkeeper Mike Diacheysn scooped up the loose ball.
In the 68th minute, Salisbury (5-0-2) saw a great opportunity to get on the board with a free kick 25-yards out. Junior midfielder Michael Feeney placed the kick on the back right post for a diving Poorman. Connecting for a lined header attempt, Diacheysn quickly pushed the ball back out towards the top of the 18-yard box, where junior midfielder Taylor Groginski ripped another shot. The shot was blocked by the defense and cleared out to end the offensive attack.
With time winding down in regulation, an aggressive defensive play by senior captain Kyle Westbrook deep in Salisbury territory gave Salisbury one last chance. In the final minute, Westbrook slid in to deflect a ball off the offender's leg to draw a Sea Gull throw in. Wasting no time, Westbrook threw the ball down the line, eventually meeting the feet of Aryeetey. Swiftly, Aryeetey got down to the 18-yard box of the Pioneers with only one defender to beat, but a clean slide tackle would eliminate the chance and send the game to overtime.
With nothing substantial through the first overtime and part of the second, SU came up just short on two chances in the final two minutes. Receiving the ball at the top of the 18-yard box, Poorman pushed it out to the left and ripped a shot that was just deflected and pushed out of bounds for a corner kick. Feeney sent in the corner attempt to the top of the 18-yard box, finding the foot of Poorman again, but that shot soared just high.
Staedeli recorded the draw, playing the entire 110 minutes and making five saves, just one shy of a career high.
The men are back in action on Wednesday, September 24, as Salisbury travels to Prince George's Community College for a neutral-site match against Roanoke College. First touch is set for 4 p.m.