Aug. 25, 2006
The Lipscomb Bisons soccer team turned an exciting Page in overtime in a 3-2 season-opening victory over visiting Birmingham-Southern Friday night.
The Bisons battled back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie the game at 2-2 by the end of regulation. The game was the season opener for both teams, and marked the first time the Bisons have ever beaten Birmingham-Southern. It was also the second year in a row the Bisons have won their opening game.
"It was a big-time comeback for us," said Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow. "We started off playing well. We had some defenses lapses, not necessarily in our back three, cost us two goals. One we had those sorted out things got much better.
"Coming in, the biggest question was whether our midfield was going to be able to answer Birmingham-Southern's talent. Our center midfielders played great."
An enthusiastic crowd of more than 650 watched the game.
Forward Ben Page, who also scored on a penalty kick at the 87:34 mark, went through three defenders and then beat Birmingham-Southern goalkeeper Joseph Anthony from about 10-to-15 yards out for the game-winner at the 96:28 mark in overtime.
Morrow thought that Page had played the worst game of his career in an exhibition last Saturday at Memphis. He didn't think Page started out the Birmingham-Southern game in top form.
"Ben had been in a funk," said Morrow. "He just sort of worked himself out of it. You could see his confidence growing throughout the game. He was creating more and better chances as the game went on."
Page made a game-leading five shots and also a game-leading three shots on goal.
"When he gets the ball everybody knows he is a threat," said Morrow.
Forward Jorge Suarez, who assisted on Page's game-winner, jumpstarted the Bisons offense with a goal at 84:57 from eight-to-12 yards out on an assist from Page.
"Jorge is a guy who knows the game," said Morrow. "He might not have all the physical talent of some other players, but he finds the goal. I told (assistant coach) Kevin Burk the day before the game to watch Jorge because he was going to score.
"He was so frustrated early on the in the preseason. He didn't think he was going to play up top this year for us because of some of the other guys we had brought in. I know he was upset with me that he wasn't in the mix. Then all of sudden he is thrown in there and he responds."
Midfielder Jon-Pierre Anthony opened the scoring for Birmingham-Southern with a goal at 16:47. Striker Martin DeVaney scored the second goal for the visitors at 25:10. Midfielder Gino Cozzolino was awarded the assist on both goals.
The Bisons outshot Birmingham-Southern 17-10 and held a slight 7-6 edge in shots on goal.
Goalkeeper Jake Goergen, who made four saves, two in each half, earned the win for the Bisons. Anthony also had four saves for Birmingham-Southern in the loss, all in the second half.
Eighteen Bisons saw action in the game. Birmingham-Southern made only one substitution.
"I think our depth was a huge part of our success as well," said Morrow. "All eighteen players got quality minutes. In the last part of the game that showed. We will continue to work on our fitness, but our fitness is improving and we have quality depth."
The Bisons return to the field Tuesday night at 5 when Central Arkansas visits.