SALISBURY, Md. - The first game of the season proved to be thrilling after a double-overtime header by senior midfielder Elliott Crompton placed Salisbury University men's soccer in the win column.
In the first game of the Elmer Lord Classic, host Salisbury knocked off Manhattanville College, 1-0, through two overtime periods. In a solid defensive matchup, the teams totaled nine shots on goal: six for Salisbury, four for Manhattanville.
In the first half, the Sea Gulls pressured early with six total shots. With 32 minutes left in the period, junior forward Tanner East took a rip from inside the 18-yard box, resulting in a deflection by a defenseman. Off the blocked shot, senior midfielder Adam Quigley approached from the backside of the field looking for an opportunity, but kicked a little high striking off the crossbar.
Later in the half, senior defenseman Chase Humphrey saw an opening from 30 yards on the right side of the field. The shot stayed low, but found its way off the left post, ending the series.
The Sea Gulls came out firing in the second half, as Stephen Poorman saw two chances within a minute of each other, just missing on both opportunities.
Excitement picked up going into the second overtime period, with only 10 minutes remaining to take the victory. Coming into the closing minutes, Salisbury found itself amid a great opportunity with a corner kick from the right side. Junior forward Matt Greene placed a seamless ball by the near post where he found Crompton. Crompton's header found the back of the net to put Salisbury on the scoreboard and finish off the Valiants.
The Sea Gulls' defense proved to be strong coming into the start of the season, as the leadership on the back line, along with sophomore goalkeeper Drew Staedeli, let nothing past it. Staedeli finished the match with four saves, helped by the defense in front of him made up of senior Chase Humphrey, juniors Jeff Byrnes, Kyle Westbrook, and Logan Becker, and sophomore Cy McNeill.
The Gulls move to 1-0 to start the 2013 season, and go into Saturday with a chance to win the Elmer Lord Classic. Salisbury will match up against the Hunter College Hawks at 3:30 p.m. at the SU Soccer Complex to conclude the tournament. St. Mary's College of Maryland will take on Manhattanville in Saturday's first game, at 1:30 p.m.