Piotrowski scores game-winning goal in 2-1 overtime win over Hope
OLIVET, Mich. – In a battle of regionally-ranked teams, Olivet College sophomore Zach Piotrowski (Jackson/Lumen Christi) scored the game-winning goal, as the Comet men's soccer team rallied to beat Hope College, 2-1, today at the Cutler Athletic Complex in Olivet. The two teams entered the game tied for sixth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Central Region rankings.
In addition, coupled with Trine's 2-0 win over Calvin today, Olivet moves into sole possession of first-place in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) standings with a perfect 4-0-0 record. The Comets' overall record now stands at 8-1-1.
Hope took a 1-0 halftime lead behind a goal with just 3:36 left before the break. The score stayed 1-0 until two minutes and 17 seconds were left on the clock in regulation. Senior Ross Cutler (Ann Arbor/Pioneer), who had just subbed into the game 22 seconds earlier, found the back of the net. Freshman Esteban Russell (DeWitt) passed the ball into the box to freshman Jon Puente (Kalamazoo/Galesburg Augusta), who sent the ball over to Cutler who finished his shot to the back, left corner of the goal.
Olivet had the best chances to score in the overtime period. The Comets took advantage of a Hope player being called for a foul outside the 18-yard box. Russell took the free kick and his pass found the feet of Piotrowski, who redirected the ball into the goal with 1:50 left in the extra session.
The Flying Dutchmen had a 13-11 advantage in total shots, but Olivet had a 9-5 edge in shots-on-goal. Puente and Russell each took two shots, and seven others each had one. Freshman Alex Lang (West Bloomfield/Detroit Catholic Central) played the entire game in goal and collected four saves.
The Comets return to action Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. game at Trine. The Thunder are second in the MIAA standings and No. 9 in the NSCAA Regional rankings.