By Christopher Boulay
A strike by Jared Spieker in the 108th minute gave the Blue Devils a 2-1 overtime victory over Holy Cross.
Late in the second overtime period, a near scrum in front of the Crusaders’ net proved to be vital, as Blaine Veldhuis struck a header toward the net, the ball came back to Spieker, who stuck the ball past the keeper for a late victory.
“It hit one of the [defenders] and I smashed it as hard as I could,” Spieker said. “We had three or four chances in that first overtime, we were definitely dominating them. I wish the earlier ones would have gone in, so it didn’t have to come to that, but in the end, we finished it; it was a relief, and we’re 3-0.”
The scoring opened up for CCSU (3-0) in the 41st minute, when Joel Diamand and Connor Smith set up a Taylor Morgan tap-in.
Regarding Morgan’s first goal during the season for the Blue Devils, Coach Shaun Green believes that it will do wonders for his confidence.
“A scorer is like toothpaste in a tube, once the first one comes out, [the rest of them do],” Green said. “He’s a good player and he’s going to be keyed in on tremendously throughout his career. And hey, he put us in the lead, one nil.”
Smith, who received a red card last weekend against Vermont, and was suspended for the match against New Hampshire, sent a through ball to Morgan, which gave the Blue Devils the lead right before halftime.
“I tried to make up for [the red card],” Smith said. “I disappointed the team and Shaun [Green], but he gave me a chance by starting me again.”
Holy Cross (0-3) forward Tony Rosales hit back in the 59th minute when keeper Thomas Booth sent the ball into the Blue Devils’ half, and Rosales put it off the post and into the net.
CCSU dominated possession for most of the first half, but the tides turned after the Holy Cross goal.
“At halftime, we took our foot off of the pedal,” Smith said. “We let them get back into the game.”
Holy Cross looked their best for the last half hour before the overtimes, which the Blue Devils regained their form reminiscent of the first half.
“Throughout the season, we’re not going to be the hammer every single game. We’re gonna be the anvil sometimes,” Green said. “Sometimes in the game you are the hammer for 25 minutes and the anvil for 10 minutes. It’s how you handle the game when you are the anvil.”
The Blue Devils outshot Holy Cross 22-12 and 10-2 shots-on-target in the match. Crusaders defender Vincent Garofalo was cautioned in the 104th minute, and midfielder Pat McCann also received a yellow card in the 108th minute after the game ended.
CCSU’s next match is home against Yale on Wednesday at 4 pm.