The Seton Hall men’s soccer team defeated the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday night, 2-1, in a nail biter that Stephen Elias’ 85th minute goal ended.
Elias, the leading goal scorer and captain for the Pirates, notched his fourth of the season when he was the first to react to the second bounce off a corner kick.
“Those second balls are the most dangerous balls in soccer really,” Elias said. “That’s when team shut off right there then. The ball back in and going up for a header with keeper. I was lucky that it bounced and as soon as it did, I was swinging for it.”
The first half saw both sides evenly posses the ball with many scoring chances. The Pirates eventually broke the deadlock when head coach Andreas Lindberg subbed in last year’s leading goal scorer, C.J. Tibbling, and Carlton McKenzie.
McKenzie received a ball on the left wing and took a few dribbles inside the 18-yard box that force DePaul to react. The Birmingham, England native drew the penalty and Tibbling capitalized. The sophomore forward powered a right-footed box into the corner of the goal, minutes after being subbed on.
The Pirates did, however, let up a goal just before halftime.
A Blue Devil attacker was left unmarked and capitalized on a shot just a few feet away from goal, leaving goalkeeper Andreas Nota little to no time to react to it.
“When you have players of that caliber on the bench, you just put ‘em in there and kinda let the dogs loose,” Lindberg said. “It took 20 seconds after the sub and that’s what both of them do; they have a presence and athleticism that we’re lacking without them.”
To close out the game, the Blue Demons paced up the field and sent the ball inside the 18-yard box, an attacker colliding with Nota. Nota came out of the skirmish unscathed but had a noticeable limp as time expired.
Lindberg was happy that his guys were able to come out with the win and a very chippy second half.
“It doesn’t really matter how it looks, I am disappointed at how we played at times but also pleased with the three points,” Lindberg said. “We can play like this if we win all the games, I don’t care. I don’t think we played great. We did really well but there’s certainly other time we have to do more to improve.”
Up next for the Pirates is another home as they look for their third straight win and get back to .500, 4-4, when they take on Creighton, Saturday, Oct. 24. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Evando Thompson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find him on Twitter @ethmps.