LEAVENWORTH, Kan. - Juan Carlos Salazar (JR/Bogota, Colombia) scored the game-winning goal with just under 5:00 remaining to give Park University men's soccer a 2-1 win at the University of St. Mary on Saturday evening.
The Pirates (3-1-0) completed non-conference play with back-to-back wins that each had go-ahead goals inside the final 5:00 of the second half. Park begins its 11-game American Midwest Conference schedule on Wednesday, September 13 at St. Louis College of Pharmacy at 9:00 p.m.
After a first half that was largely even with just six total shots split evenly between the teams, the Pirates turned up the pressure and asserted its will in the second half. Isaias De La Torre (SR/Dodge City, Kan.) missed a close opportunity off a cross from Daniel Jackson (SR/Nottingham, England) at 56:17, followed up by a threatening shot by Darby Cronin (FR/Lee's Summit, Mo.) just 90 seconds later.
The breakthrough would come for the Pirates at 61:16. A corner kick by Jesse Jasso (JR/Kansas City, Mo.) found its way to Ivan Aguero (SO/Olathe, Kan.), whose shot rang off the crossbar. Jackson ended up with the loose ball and put the Pirates in front just past the hour mark.
St. Mary (1-2-0) managed just one shot on goal in the match, but it found its way into the net. The Spires also took advantage of a corner kick when Emanuel Garcia set up Jay Willcutt to equalize with 80:08 elapsed.
For the second-straight game, the Pirates were able to regain the lead after losing it and scored the game-winner with less than five minutes to play. Following shots by Jackson and Rodrigo Lima (FR/Campinas, Brazil), Salazar took his chance off an assist by De La Torre to put the Pirates back on top.
With time ticking away, the Jackson and Cronin did a masterful job working the rest of the clock, holding the ball near the Spires' corner to finish off the victory.