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Eckenrode Strikes Late, Hatters Tie #9 UCF 1-1

Published: October 25, 2011

DeLand, Fla. - Junior midfielder Kai Eckenrode (Springfield, Va.) scored his second goal of the season in the 85th minute to draw the Stetson men's soccer team (7-5-3) level with ninth-ranked UCF (9-3-3) as the Hatters went on to claim a 1-1 draw with the Knights in double overtime. The tie was Stetson's second positive result against a Top 25 team this year to go along with a 3-2 win over then #15 Penn State on September 2.

A scoreless tie at halftime turned into a 1-0 UCF lead less than a minute into the second stanza when a foul in the box allowed Nik Robson to put home a penalty kick goal for the Knights. Although UCF ended up out-shooting Stetson 21-14, that would be the last time sophomore goalkeeper Andreas Schnabl (Blaichach, Germany) and the Hatter defense allowed a ball into the back of the net.

With time winding down in the match, a service was played forward to senior midfielder Ryan Asare-Bediako (Tampa, Fla.), who reached a ball from very near the end line left of goal just before charging Knights keeper Sebastian Evers and flicked it back to Eckenrode for the strike into the net.

Although several scoring chances were had on either side, including Schnabl making a fingertip save on a high blast from UCF's Ronald Garcia, neither the Hatters nor Knights could score in the next 25 minutes and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

The tie was Stetson's first result against its former A-Sun archrival since winning 2-1 in Orlando in 2007 and its first against the Knights at the Stetson Soccer Complex since a 2-1 double overtime victory on October 3, 2001. Tonight's match was Stetson's first at home against a Top 25 opponent since defeating #8 FIU 3-2 on October 15, 1997.

Schnabl and Evers made four saves each; Asare-Bediako's assist was his second of the season.

Head Coach T. Logan Fleck said, "We could have easily packed it and given up when UCF got their goal early in the second half, but we showed tremendous character and determination against the #9 team in the nation. Our team chemistry is really coming together with another outstanding performance from Schnabl and the back line."

"I'm really happy with the way the team came back from UCF's goal," junior defender Luis Ocejo (Mexico City, Mexico) said. "We created chances and then finally at the end of regulation we got the goal we needed. We're growing as a team every day and starting to get ready for the A-Sun tournament."

The Hatters return to conference play Friday, October 28 with a 7:00 pm match at North Florida. Live Stats will be linked to at if available; fans should check ASun.TV for a possible broadcast.

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