By Nick Barene, Sports Writer
Forward Derek Johnson, a senior, scored the golden goal in overtime to propel the Lutes to a 3-2 win Saturday over the visiting Puget Sound Loggers.
The Lutes’ victory was not only important because it was senior night, but also because UPS was ranked 20th in the nation.
The first half saw the Lutes control most of the run of play, sending many dangerous balls forward and creating chances early. However, neither team was able to find the back of the net until the second half.
In the 52nd minute, senior Giancarlo Santoro took a pass from fellow senior Taylor Jackson and snuck the ball past the keeper to score on a low shot from about 7 yards out to give PLU a 1-0 lead.
The Lutes advantage was short lived though. UPS was awarded a penalty kick just 20 seconds after Santoro’s seventh goal of the season, and Northwest Conference scoring leader Carson Swope converted to knot up the score at 1-1.
Swope found the back of the net again in the 61st minute, scoring from about 4 yards out to give UPS the Lead.
The Lutes continued to battle, and earned their reward in the 81st minute when Santoro passed to first-year Diego Aceves, who blasted home a shot from 6 yards out for the equalizer.
As if the match required any more tension, a golden goal overtime period was needed to separate the two teams. Under the rules of golden goal, the first team to score wins the game.
Seven minutes into the overtime period, Johnson took a pass from Aceves and beat the keeper from 8 yards out to put the game away for the Lutes.
“It was a great win to cap off our season,” head coach John Yorke said. “We finished it with great style.”
The Lutes graduate nine seniors this year: Joe Rayburn, Jackson, Alex Hurst, Jeff Piaquadio, Johnson, Santoro, Joe Olenginski, Brian Lefavour and Bryce Archambeault.
They Lutes improved to 13-4-3 overall and 8-4-2 in conference play after the win, good for third in the NWC. Puget Sound fell to 14-5 overall and 12-2 in the NWC. While the Lutes did finish in third place, they will not be advancing to the national playoffs.