BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Birmingham-Southern men's soccer team, in thrilling fashion, kept its unbeaten season alive on Tuesday night, winning 3-2 over the Huntingdon Hawks (0-3) for its second consecutive overtime victory.
Senior defender Luke Hambleton (Fort Walton Beach, Fla./Choctawhatchee HS) was the man of the match, scoring two goals on two penalty kicks, including the game-winner.
In the first half, BSC freshman forward Christian Hernandez (Ft. Payne, Ala./Ft. Payne HS) opened up the scoring in the 14th minute with a goal off an assist by junior midfielder Ryan Hepp (Homewood, Ala./Homewood HS).
Four minutes later the game was tied up 1-1 when a Huntingdon cross into the box forced an own goal by a Panther defender. The two teams would stay locked in a tie through the halftime break.
The Hawks took the lead in the 79th minute when Huntingdon's Kebba Jeng took advantage of a BSC missed clearance and slotted the ball into the net.
It did not take Birmingham-Southern long, however, to level the game back up. A Huntingdon foul in the box gave Hambleton an opportunity for a penalty kick. From the spot, he beat the Huntingdon goalkeeper to his right, burying the ball in the back of the net to equalize for the Panthers in the 82nd minute.
There was no difference between the two sides in the remaining eight minutes, sending the Panthers into overtime for the second consecutive match. A mere 25 seconds into the sudden victory period, however, was all it took for BSC to get the chance to end the game.
An attempted tackle by a Hawks defender in his own box drew a whistle from the referee and set Hambleton up for his second penalty kick of the evening. Hambleton, like his first attempt, drilled the ball past the goalkeeping, giving the Panthers the final 3-2 lead and its second OT win in as many games.
With the win, Birmingham-Southern remains unbeaten at 3-0. The Panthers will look to continue their success at home against on Thursday, September 6 when East Texas Baptist comes to the Hilltop. Kickoff for the match is scheduled for 7 p.m.