LEBANON, Tenn. – Patrick Crawley’s drive from 10 yards was saved at the end of the first overtime and Bennet Strutz made an incredible diving save at the beginning of the first extra period, preserving a scoreless draw between 22nd-ranked Cumberland and ninth-ranked Georgia Gwinnett in men’s soccer action here Saturday at Lindsey Donnell Stadium-Kirk Field.
Cumberland (12-2-2) had multiple chances in the first half to find the back of the net but was turned away by Grizzly goalkeeper Matija Gligorovic, who collected three saves in the first 45 minutes and five overall.
Strutz was just as good if not better, registering seven saves, including an incredible diving stop on a header by Gwinnett’s Oscar Summerkamp in the 95th minute. The 6-foot-6 junior scrambled to hit feet to stop a shot from Jack Gurr on the rebound as well, keeping the match scoreless.
Brian McNamara’s drop off to Crawley late in the first OT was stopped by Glogorovic, CU’s best chance since midway through the second half. Cumberland was unable to connect against the GGC (10-2-2) defense in the final third, just missing on passes or a stop behind the Grizzly defenders for open shots against Gligorovic.
The Grizzlies started the match quickly, with Samuel Sampaio Gomes heading in a cross in the fourth minute, but he was called offsides. Sampaio Gomes’ header at the far post was saved by Strutz in the ninth minute and the Phoenix finally held possession after the first 15 minutes, becoming the aggressor the rest of the half.
Daniel Williams just missed a left-footed chance in the 13th minute on a nice pass from Tyler Watson and Bakary Bagayogo’s shot down the left side sailed high minutes later. Williams had another chance in the 23rd minute, but Gligorovic made a sprawling save to keep the match scoreless.
Bagayogo’s drive from 12 yards in the 31st minute was also turned away by Gligorovic and Cumberland got a free kick from just outside the top of the box in the 36th minute, but Sondre Risa’s attempt went just wide of the top left corner.
Williams got one more chance on a nice drop off from Watson, down the left side again, but it went just right of the net in the 43rd minute and the match was scoreless at intermission. The Phoenix outshot the Grizzlies, 10-4, in the first 45 minutes, with Strutz and Gligorovic each collecting three saves.
Cumberland begins play Thursday in the Mid-South Conference Championships in Bowling Green, Ky.