ELMHURST, Ill. – First-year Peter Passalino (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) finished off a breakaway opportunity in extra time to lift the Carleton College men’s soccer team to a 2-1 double-overtime triumph over Elmhurst College.
“The conditions were rough out there today,” said Carleton coach Bob Carlson. “It was hot and humid, and after playing a rough, physical game on Saturday to turn around and play another physically taxing game 23 hours later was draining. The guys played really hard.”
Carleton (2-0) traded shots with Elmhurst (0-1) for most of the first half. James Neher’s (Sr./Mahtomedi, Minn./Mahtomedi) diving save in the 24th minute kept the game scoreless until the host BlueJays drew first blood in the 42nd minute. Following a corner kick, Austin Haas volleyed a long pass straight from the top of the box into the net.
The Knights responded quickly in the second half. In the 54th minute, an Elmhurst handball just outside their 18 set the stage for a Knights free kick. Veteran player Will Corcoran (Sr./Mahtomedi, Minn./Mahtomedi) opted for a quick restart on the direct free kick, curving the ball around the defensive wall and into the corner of the net, leveling the score.
Both teams had chances to pull away near the end of regulation. Corcoran’s shot bounced off the post in the 85th minute, and Neher turned aside two solid Elmhurst scoring chances before a Bluejay header sailed just high, sending the match to extra time.
It wasn’t until midway through second overtime that the game would be decided. In the 106th minute, rookie Riley Phelps (Bowling Green, Ky./Bowling Green) played a ball behind the Elmhurst defensive line, where Passalino collected the ball and buried it in the corner of the net to record his first collegiate goal and end the match.
The Knights’ season-opening road trip continues next Sunday, Sept. 8 when Carleton travels to Duluth, Minn. to take on the College of St. Scholastica a 4:30 p.m. The Saints led the NCAA in scoring a season ago, but the Knights posted a 2-0 victory last October.