LAURINBURG, N.C.—Junior Justin Garton (Germantown, Md.) completed his first collegiate hat trick with a golden goal in the first minute of overtime to lead the St. Andrews Presbyterian College men’s soccer team to a 3-2 Conference Carolinas victory over visiting Coker College on Wednesday afternoon.
Garton’s third game-winning goal of the season and second in overtime helped extend the Knights undefeated streak to seven games. SAPC, ranked tied for No. 3 in the Southeast Region, boasts an 8-2-2 overall record and 4-1-0 Conference Carolinas ledger.
The Cobras, who fell to 5-8 on the year and 2-5 in the league, took a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute. Freshman Sam Bevan (Altanta, Ga.) drilled a free kick just outside the 18-yard line past a diving goalkeeper and just inside the far post to give the visitors the 1-0 lead just before the halftime intermission.
Garton tied the game in the 58th minute by scoring on a breakaway after receiving a nice pass from freshman Brian Humphrey (Jacksonville, N.C.). The Knights continued to press and finally took their first lead of the contest in the 72nd minute. Sophomore defender Carlos Bustamante (Caracas, Venezuela) made a long pass to Garton just inside the Coker box. After trapping the ball, Garton drilled the go-ahead goal.
St. Andrews maintained the 2-1 advantage until a foul call in the 80th minute gave the Cobras a penalty kick. Senior Olivier Harper (Orlando, Fla.) scored on the PK to deadlock everything at two apiece and force overtime.
The Knights wasted little time trying to end the game before the sun set. Humphrey dribbled the ball close to the Coker goal and then riffled a hard shot that freshman goalie Ryan Lewis (Satellite Beach, Fla.) was able to save. However, Lewis was unable to corral the blast and Garton one-timed the loss ball into the net to end the game just 58 seconds into the sudden death period.
Garton’s hat trick increases his team-high goal total to 11. Humphrey has a team-high six assists on the season after tallying two helpers in the 3-2 victory.
SAPC held a 16-10 shot advantage and 6-4 edge on corner kicks but were whistled for more fouls, 24-16. Coker was flagged offside’s more times, 5-1, and only put four shots on goal.
Junior netminder Nick Stevens (Kernersville, N.C.) made a pair of saves en route to his eight victory of the season for the Knights. Lewis had eight stops for the Cobras.
St. Andrews will next travel to Banner Elk, N.C. for a Conference Carolinas showdown against No. 3 nationally ranked Lees-McRae College on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Coker entertains non-conference Francis Marion University during their Homecoming on Saturday at 1:00 p.m.