The Canisius College men’s soccer team rallied from a two-goal deficit at Bucknell in its season opener to earn a 3-2 overtime victory on Friday night. The Griffs won their first season opener in 10 years to move to 1-0-0 on the season, while the Bison falls to 0-1-0.
Junior Asani Samuels secured the victory for the Griffs with the overtime tally 5:12 into the extra session. On a counter attack, the junior ran 40 yards with the ball, made a move to beat a Bucknell defender and finished far post from the left of the box for the 3-2 winning tally.
“It’s always great to start the season with a win,” said Canisius head coach Dermot McGrane. “To win in overtime is also exciting. I thought we showed a great deal of character to come back from down two goals and win in the fashion that we did. It really justifies all the hard work we put in the preseason.”
The victory did not come easy for the Griffs, though, as Chris Thorsheim netted two early goals for a 2-0 Bucknell advantage. He netted the game’s first tally in the 24th minute, scoring from 30 yards into the top corner of the net. Thorsheim then took advantage of a Canisius miscue on the edge of the box for his second score in the 35th minute.
Sophomore defender Alex De Carolis would lead the Griffs rally, however, and would force the overtime. De Carolis scored the Griffs’ first goal of the 2013 campaign just before the intermission in the 40th minute of play. On a corner kick, junior Denver Spearman played the ball back to De Carolis, who found the back of the net from 30 yards out.
The sophomore then knotted the contest at two in the game’s 63rd minute. After a pass from junior Will Hudson, De Carolis curled a shot into the top corner of the net, tying the game and forcing the added period. Samuels finished it from there for the 3-2 winning effort.
Bucknell finished the game with a 22-15 advantage in shots with both teams attempting four corner kicks.
Senior Ryan Arvin and freshman John Hollinger split time in net for the Griffs with Holinger earning his first career victory in his first collegiate appearance.
Canisius looks to continue its early-season momentum on Sunday at St. Francis (Pa.). Game time is set for 1 p.m.
Game Notes: The Griffs last won their season opener in 2003 with a 1-0 victory at Maine … Canisius has not won its first two games of the year since 1976 … The three goals are the most for the Griffs in a season opener since also scoring three goals against Western Michigan in 2000 … De Carolis is now just one goal shy of his entire rookie season total of three tallies.