BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's soccer team swept the competition at the 2018 BSC Labor Day Classic, capping the tournament with an exciting 2-1 overtime win over the University of the Ozarks Eagles on Sunday afternoon.
A well-placed header by freshman Ryo Elliott (Handa-shi, Japan/Kubaski HS) off a free kick by Will Gannaway (Decatur, Ala./Decatur HS) scored the golden goal that elevated the Panthers past the Eagles and improves BSC's record to 2-0 on the season.
Junior midfielder Ryan Hepp (Homewood, Ala./Homewood HS) opened up the scoring for the Panthers in the 23rd minute of the game. After the Eagles committed a foul inside the 18-yard box, BSC was awarded the penalty. Hepp's shot from the spot was smashed into the top of the net over the head of the goalkeeper to give the Panthers the lead.
Ozarks drew even two minutes later when Bryce Young headed a ball in from Spence Jean Baptiste past BSC senior goalkeeper Galen Curry (Birmingham, Ala./Spain Park) into the left side of the net.
Curry would finish the match with five saves.
The Panthers and Eagles would remain tied up at 1-1 at the halftime break and through the remainder of regulation, sending the game into sudden victory overtime.
Not long after the referee's whistle to start the first extra time period, he blew his whistle again to signal a foul by Ozarks, giving the Panthers a free kick in a dangerous area outside the box.
Gannaway stepped up to take the kick and sent it into the box, just sneaking it over the head of a lunging Eagles defender and into the path of Elliott. Elliott's header was lofted up and over the outstretched hands of the Ozarks goalkeeper and came back down in the net to give BSC the sudden victory.
It was the first overtime victory for BSC since October 9, 2016, when the Panthers defeated Sewanee 2-1 in overtime.
Birmingham-Southern will stay at home for its next match on Tuesday, Sept. 4 when the Huntingdon Hawks come to Preston Goldfarb Field. Kickoff for the game is set for 7 p.m.