Senior Will Hudson scored the game-winning goal in the 105th minute to give the Canisius men’s soccer team a 1-0 win over first-place Monmouth at the Demske Sports Complex on Saturday night. The Golden Griffins finish their season with a 7-9-2 overall record, while the Hawks - the top-ranked team in the North Atlantic region - drop to 8-6-4 overall and 7-1-2 in the MAAC.
The Griffs were attacking late in double overtime when the ball found senior Andrew Incho at the top of the penalty area. Incho flipped the ball over his head, and the pass went to sophomore Chris Berardi. The midfielder attempted a bicycle kick but didn’t connect on it solidly. The ball found Hudson wide open in front of the net, and the senior buried it to give the Griffs the win.
“It’s a great way to send our seniors off with a win, showing that we can compete and beat the top team in our conference,” Canisius coach Dermot McGrane said. “I’m not sure if I’ve seen as many attempted bicycle kicks as I did on that last sequence, but Will was in the right spot and converted on the opportunity.”
Monmouth controlled the first half, posting 11 shots in the opening 45 minutes as the Hawks had the wind at their back on a windy, rainy night at the Demske Sports Complex. Canisius had its best chance of the first half in the final seconds when Hudson’s shot grazed the left post just before the horn sounded.
The Griffs had a number of opportunities in the second half. Hudson sent a shot wide off a corner kick from Francesco Strangio with just under 21 minutes remaining. About five minutes later, junior Asani Samuels had a breakaway and dropped a pass to junior Denver Spearman, but he also sent his shot wide. Hudson had an opportunity late in regulation with a free kick from just outside the penalty area that sailed high. Neither team had a good chance in the first overtime before Hudson’s heroics in the second overtime period.
Senior Ryan Arvin made five saves to pick up his sixth win of the season. Arvin finishes the season with a 1.08 goals against average, breaking the record of 1.10 set by Matt Houghton during the 2006 campaign.
Monmouth held an 18-16 edge in shots but the Griffs outshot the Hawks 13-7 after halftime.
Notes: Canisius finished the season in sixth place in the MAAC standings, an improvement over three places from last season... Canisius posted 15 wins over the last two seasons... Hudson’s goal was his team-leading sixth of the season… The assist for Berardi was his first of the season… Canisius finishes the year with a 4-0-2 record in games that went to overtime… Canisius and Monmouth met for the first time.