Fleri's OT goal gives CUA exciting come-from-behind win
CHESTERTOWN, Md. – After trailing Washington College 1-0 deep into the second half on Tuesday evening, CUA received a goal from Ben Fernandez in the 81st minute that eventually forced overtime, and Ben Fleri delivered the game-winner 1:25 into the extra session to give the Cardinals a dramatic 2-1 victory.
The Shoremen jumped on top of CUA in the 12th minute when Jordan Haas took a pass from Matt Willfong off a direct kick and beat Cardinals keeper Sean Libby for a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later Haas looked to add to Washington College's lead, but his attempt was blocked.
Mike DiMarco's shot at the 19:36 mark for CUA hit off the post, and in the next four minutes, the Cardinals were awarded three corner kicks but were unable to capitalize.
CUA continued to look for the equalizer but Ian Smith's shot at the 33:13 mark was saved and another attempt by Smith a few minutes later sailed high.
DiMarco got off the last shot of the opening half just before time expired but Chris Phipps made the save for the Shoremen to keep the home team in front by one.
The Cardinals were credited with 17 shots in the second half as they looked to pull even, but for the first 35 minutes, Washington College's defense was up to the challenge.
Finally, in the 81st minute, Fernandez tied things at one when his shot bounced over Phipps' head and into the net.
The teams then battled for the remaining nine minutes of regulation, but neither was able to score the game-winner. CUA had two big chances in the final minutes, but Ethan DaPonte's shot was saved and Smith's attempt went wide.
Knotted at one, the teams headed for extra soccer, but Fleri, who entered the match 1:21 into OT, quickly ended this one when he scored on a direct kick at the 91:25 mark to improve CUA to 7-3.
CUA wound up with a 24-9 advantage in shots and a 10-4 lead in corner kicks. Libby sent back three shots for the Cardinals, while Phipps came up with 13 stops for the Shoremen.
The Cardinals return to action on Saturday when they travel to New York to face Merchant Marine Academy in a rematch of last year's Landmark Conference championship match. Start time is slated for noon.