DENVER, Colo. – Locked in a scoreless match with three minutes remaining in double overtime approaching, Andrew Ciancone (Houston, Texas) headed the game-winning goal for the lone score of the contest by either side. The University of Dallas men's soccer team edged Johnson & Wales University in the first meeting between the programs in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference (SCAC) by a final of 1-0.
It was the Crusaders (6-2, 5-1 SCAC) fifth straight win overall and in conference. Johnson & Wales (4-5-1, 2-5-1 SCAC) fell after a hard-fought match to force extra time.
After these teams had their first match cancelled back in Irving in what would have been the conference opener for each side, it appeared neither team would get three points on Friday afternoon either.
Dallas managed to outshoot the home team 7-2 in the first half. The guests also tacked on a 4-1 edge in corner kicks during that span. It was a quiet second half for both teams in the last 45 minutes of regulation with three shots apiece. The Crusaders took the first shots of the second stanza with Ciancone being denied twice on a save and hitting the crossbar. Hunter Haugland (Bixby, Okla.) took a shot that got blocked between the looks by the eventual hero of the day.
After his header was knocked off the crossbar at 55:05, the Crusaders did not get off another attempt until the lone shot in the first overtime. JWU had a couple free kicks in decent position during both overtime periods, but did not amount to anything.
Dallas continued knocking with Nat Kajiwara (Southlake, Texas) missing wide in both overtime periods. The sophomore did contribute on the golden goal with an assist. His cross from the right part of the field that found Ciancone for his third goal of the season was all UD needed for its highest SCAC win output through six matches. The game-winner for Ciancone was the fourth for the senior overall. He now has 11 goals and 30 points for his career.
Sean Carlin (Puyallup, Wash.) completed 106:49 minutes of a clean sheet. It is his 4th individually this season and been part of five for the Crusaders this season. Three of UD's wins in conference play have been 1-0 finals. Dallas has now gone 248:11 minutes without surrendering a goal and continue to lead the league with three goals allowed for fewest.
This is the first overtime match this season for the Crusaders. Last season, they played four to start the campaign and five-of-seven during that same season to open.
Dallas travels to Colorado College for the second meeting of the season on October 7. Kickoff is slated for 12 p.m. (MST). The Tigers are the only blemish on the conference ledger so far for UD, as they won 1-0 in Irving nearly a month ago.