Stewart's OT Goal Gives Men's Soccer 1-0 Win Over Rutgers-Newark
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Talk about making an immediate impact.
Just seconds after subbing into the match on a throw in, sophomore Michael Stewart found the back of the net, taking a pass from junior Joe Keedy on the left wing and scoring the game-winning overtime goal, giving the Swarthmore College men's soccer team (1-0) a thrilling 1-0 (OT) victory over Rutgers-Newark on Saturday evening in the second game of the 15th Annual Garnet Alumni Classic from Clothier Field Stadium.
The victory sets up a battle of unbeatens tomorrow afternoon in the Garnet Alumni Classic finale, as Swarthmore will take on Manhattanville, a 1-0 winner over Widener is the day's first contest, for the title.
While the Garnet dominated much of the play - outshooting the Scarlet Raiders 21-4 - the season-opening victory is one that certainly did not come easy. The physical play of the Scarlet Raiders' (1-1-0) bend-but-don't-break defense gave the Garnet fits all evening long, with Swat needing everything it had to pull out the late victory.
After a scoreless first half that saw few opportunities for either side, the pace of play and scoring chances picked up significantly in the second period. Swarthmore's first real chance came in the 58th minute when freshman Devon Baughen struck the post with his shot. Junior Jack Momeyer collected the rebound and fired off a shot of his own, only to be denied by the Rutgers-Newark 'keeper.
Swarthmore continued to the threaten late into the second half, but could never quite put together the finishing touches on that elusive goal. Junior Noah Sterngold got an excellent look in the 85th minute, as his shot from the right wing beat the Scarlet Raiders goalie but was batted away by a defender guarding the line. Swarthmore's final chance of regulation came with under two minutes to play, as Momeyer pushed his shot from close range just wide left after a solid set-up from Baughen.
In overtime, the Garnet was finally able to break the Scarlet Raider defense, as Stewart stepped on to the field and sent the rowdy crowd of over 400 Garnet fans home happy.
In goal for the Garnet, junior Peter Maxted made one save to earn the first shutout of his career.
The victory marked the Garnet's ninth consecutive season-opening win.
The Garnet Alumni Classic finale between Swarthmore and Manhattanville will be begin at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday and can be viewed live on the Garnet Sports Network.