GEORGETOWN, Texas — Momentum can be a fickle thing. In the Southwestern University Pirates men's soccer team's 2-1 overtime victory over the University of Dallas Crusaders, junior forward Dejan Savic manipulated it to setup teammate Andrew Hernandez for the golden goal.
After the Pirates controlled a 50-50 ball in the middle of the field, Savic received the ball on the left sideline moving at a full sprint with a Dallas defender in pursuit.
Just as the Crusader closed the gap, Savic stopped on a dime, taking a sharp cut to his left on the muddy pitch as the Dallas defender's momentum carried them out of the play. Turning to the middle, Savic gave another left-to-right move, taking a retreat dribble to clear a perfect passing lane to Hernandez in front of the net for the walk-off goal in overtime.
It was the second consecutive overtime win at home in a season with four other overtime appearances, bringing the Pirates' record to 3-1-1 in such situations.
"This group continues to rise to the occasion when faced with adversity," Head Coach Dustin Norman said. "Once we got into overtime, Dejan created something out of nothing and got the ball to Andrew Hernandez, who took care of the rest.
"The three points tonight were huge and deserved given the effort by the entire team."
Both teams seemed equally matched throughout, with the Pirates taking an 11-10 shot advantage for the match on Hernandez's game-winner for the only shot in overtime. After a scoreless first half in which both teams mustered five shots each, the Crusaders struck first after the break.
A little more than 17 minutes into the second half, Dallas forward Chima Ogueri found a seam in the Pirates' transition defense, exploding up the field with the ball and splitting two defenders near the net for the first goal of the match.
"We denied the opposition many good looks at goal but were punished by one mistake in transition, tonight," Norman said. "With that being said, the response was immediate and after a couple of opportunities just missing the finishing touch, we managed to execute on something we work on in training to capitalize on the defense's lapse in concentration."
Southwestern answered in less than six minutes on a set piece from an inbounds near mid-field. Luis Ramirez received the short inbounds on the left side unimpeded while three Pirates feigned a run towards the back right corner of the net.
Ramirez delivered a perfect long pass to the front left of the net and senior Alex Newell cut across the direction of his teammates near the goal, timing it perfectly by appearing to materialize from nowhere for a header to tie the match.
And with momentum on their side, the Pirates used Dallas' own against them, avenging a 2-1 road loss to the Crusaders the weekend before.
With the win, the Pirates improve to 9-5-1 on the season and 8-4-1 in conference play, overtaking the Crusaders, who drop to 7-5 in conference play, for the third seed in the SCAC Conference Tournament with one regular season match remaining. Southwestern will host Austin College on Sunday for senior day.