OWINGS MILLS, Md. – Salisbury University used a late Brooks Zentgraf goal to overcome an early deficit as it took down Susquehanna University at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland by a score of 2-1 in the two school's first-ever meeting in men's soccer.
Susquehanna opened up the scoring six and a half minutes into the game as Sean Leister connected on a free kick from 30 yards out.
With just under four minutes left before the end of the first half, Salisbury junior midfielder Nathan Mattola got the Sea Gulls on the board for their first tally of the season. Mattola was able to control a pass from fellow junior midfielder Tyler Andrus, and knocked a shot off the left post past Susquehanna keeper Augusto Lima.
The second half opened up with Susquehanna applying early pressure, unleashing five shots in the half's opening 12 minutes. However, senior keeper Drew Staedeli was up to the task. Staedeli would stop six of the seven shots on goal on the evening, one away from his career high.
Zentgraf delivered the tie breaker in the 76th minute when he streaked down the right side and was able to beat Lima to the far post with his strike, which was his first career game-winning goal. The game marked Zentgraf's first career start, after posting an impressive nine points in his rookie campaign on four goals and one assist.
Zentgraf tied for the team high in shots and shots on goal in the game with two. Tying Zentgraf was senior midfielder Dennis Runikera, Jr..
The game ended with a strong Susquehanna possession but the Salisbury back line and team defense was up to the task. With less than two minutes to go, Susquehanna was awarded a corner kick and two free kicks; which culminated in a blocked shot by the Salisbury defense with 10 seconds left in the game to seal the win for the Sea Gulls.
Salisbury returns to action this weekend as it hosts the annual Elmer Lord Soccer Classic. The Sea Gulls' first game of the tournament is September 5 when they play host to the United States Merchant Marine Academy at 2 p.m. Salisbury then takes on Rutgers University-Camden on September 6 at 3 p.m.