DAYTON, Ohio - Senior Alex Torda scored in the 107th minute to give the University of Dayton men's soccer team a 1-0 double overtime victory over Massachusetts Sunday at Baujan Field.
"We were all obviously dead tired and I just had a feeling if we could just put something on goal then anything could happen," said Torda. "Evan flicked it on and I was able to just turn with it and I saw goal. I got a shot off. I mean I didn't hit it great; it was with my left foot. I got a good break when the keeper tipped it."
At the 106:32 mark, freshman Evan McCreary slotted the ball to Torda who got a foot on the pass and chipped it up over the oncoming UMass goalkeeper. The shot hit the keepers fingers and then crossed the goal line into the net.
"Evan McCreary put a nice ball through and I thought Torda made a real good play. He has great balance. He was able to get in behind the defense and he took a chance and just got the ball in the net," said UD Head Coach Dennis Currier. "He was able to hit it with enough pace that the goalkeeper bobbled it and the ball went to the back of the net. It felt good to get that win."
Torda's golden goal helped keep the Flyers' winning streak alive, now at seven straight games. More importantly, UD is undefeated in the first weekend of Atlantic 10 action.
"We're on a winning streak now and it feels good. It is only going to get tougher on the road especially in the A-10," said Torda. "Every game we're going to have to continue to improve, pick up on our intensity, put our chances away whenever we get them and play solid defensively."
This rematch of the 2008 A-10 Men's Soccer Championship (in which the Flyers won 1-0 last year) was a physical match that saw five yellow cards and 27 fouls.
The Flyers controlled the pace of play, and spent a majority in their attacking third, outshooting the Minutemen 17-10 overall and 9-4 on goal.
UMass had a couple of opportunities to score but Dayton's sophomore goalkeeper Tyler Picard deftly knocked down any chances, notching four saves - including two in the second overtime - and picking up his second consecutive shutout of the season.
He had a lot of help in front of him with a UD defensive stronghold of Randy Dennis, Ryan Handbury, Jack Pearson and Tommy Watkins.
"The defense has been playing great the last six games and we knew it was going to be a defensive battle because UMass does very well in the block of eight and they sit in and are very comfortable under pressure," said Currier. "We knew that was going to be a battle. We had to shut down their transition which I thought we did a great job today. Both defenses played well all game and it was tough to find any space but we found it there in the overtime."
Dayton plays at St. Bonaventure this Friday, Oct. 16 at 3:30 p.m. It is the start of a four-game A-10 road swing for the Flyers.
"This road stretch is absolutely crucial. We have got a lot of work ahead of us. We go on the road and we're obviously much more comfortable at home," said Currier. "We have to get used to winning on the road and we have four tough games. We have to find ways to keep this streak up and earn ourselves a trip into the A-10 tournament."