BOCA RATON, FLA. – An unbelievable shot by Ilias Papadopoulos with 7:02 remaining snapped a 1-1 tie before Jack Watson scored his second goal of the match in the waning seconds to give Lynn a 3-1 victory over Florida Southern in the quarterfinals of the Sunshine State Conference Tournament.
The game was tied 1-1 at halftime after Watson and Julian Jordan-Canosa had traded goals for their respective teams. It remained that way for more than 50 minutes until Papadopoulos connected on a curling shot into the very top right corner of the goal that put the Knights ahead to stay.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Lynn (11-3-1) scored the first goal of the night exactly 21 minutes into the match after Florida Southern (12-5) had held the Knights off during three set pieces in the first 11 minutes. The Knights attacked down the left flank and the Mocs stopped the initial foray by Papadopoulos, but after the ball ricocheted back to him on the clearance, he was able to drive into the box for a shot. Samuel Winning made the save at close range, but with the ball popping up in the air, Watson was able to connect on a looping header before Winning could get in position to make a play.
- Florida Southern tied the game in the 32nd minute when Christoph Gums played the ball across the field from the left wing into Jordan-Canosa, who hit the shot past Roberto Bazzichetto from inside the 6-yard box. The goal was Jordan-Canosa's third of the season, while Gums notched his eighth assist on the play.
- Lynn had the first two scoring chances of the second half with a corner kick in the 49th minute that was easily cleared by the Moccasins, and a shot by Papadopoulos from the left side of the box that was also saved with ease. The Knight's next shot provided a greater challenge in the 55th minute, as Mark Faeth received a long downfield pass and hit one on the run from the right side of the box that Winning deflected.
- The Knights forced Winning into action again in the 69th minute after they were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Rodrigo Fernandez took the shot and curled it up and over the wall, but Winning punched it away to keep the game tied.
- The Moccasins did not attempt a shot in the second half until the 73rd minute. It came from Jordan-Canosa, whose attempt came from well outside the box but still forced Bazzichetto into his first save of the night. Three minutes after that, the Mocs had another chance with a free kick deep in the attacking third, but it was cleared by the Knights before the Mocs could turn it into a shot.
- Florida Southern dodged a bullet in the 77th minute when Watson tracked down a loose ball as it crossed into the box and dribbled around Winning who had come out to make a play on it. From a difficult angle to put a shot on goal, Watson dropped the ball back, but Nick Atwood got to it before any of the Knights, keeping it a 1-1 game.
- Over the next few minutes, the Moccasins held their own against a Lynn attack that produced two corner kicks and another free kick within striking distance. But it was a corner kick won by Max Herbert in the 83rd minute that turned into the game-winning goal for the Knights. Herbert took the corner quickly, playing it short to Papadopoulos, who dribbled a few steps closer before launching a high arcing shot into the upper right corner of the goal. It was the first of the season for Papadopoulos.
- With Florida Southern putting everything forward in the final minutes for a potential game-tying goal, the Knights were able to score their final goal with 17 seconds remaining as Watson hit one inside the left post for his sixth goal of the season.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
- Lynn out-shot Florida Southern 15-4 in the match and had an 8-0 advantage in corner kicks.
- Winning was making his first start of the season after regular goalkeeper Benny Yusufoglu was a late scratch from the lineup. Winning started one game for the Mocs last year, but had appeared in just one game this season, playing the final 14:11 of the 3-0 loss to Barry in the regular season finale. He made five saves Monday night while Bazzichetto made one for Lynn.
- Gums has had eight assists in each of his first two seasons at Florida Southern, which is enough to move him into a tie for 10th place on the Mocs' career list with 16. Nick Bergstrom is the Mocs' career record holder with 24, set from 1999-01. Gums finished second on the team this year with 18 points, trailing only James Meehan who had 20 on nine goals and two assists.
- Florida Southern's 12 wins this season are tied for the second most in team history, just one shy of the team record.
- The Moccasins' 1.06 goals against average ranks fourth in the program's 62-year history. They had their fifth lowest last year. The nine shutouts this year are the second most in team history.
- Lynn has advanced to the SSC Tournament Semifinals for the eighth year in a row.