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Top-20 Soccer Moments at Barnett Field, #14 (September 14, 2003)

Top-20 Soccer Moments at Barnett Field, #14 (September 14, 2003)

If you watch enough soccer, or listen to enough commentators in televised matches, at some point you will hear someone refer to 2-0 as the most dangerous score in the game. That may well be true in the first half, but the later into the second half that one side still holds a two-goal lead, the safer it becomes. It doesn't take much deductive reasoning to figure that out, and a recent analysis of English Premier League games showed just how challenging it was to win after trailing 2-0 at any point in a game, much less the second half. We'll spare you the full breakdown, but the study revealed that a team's chances of winning dwindle to around 1% after halftime. In the final 30 minutes, it was even less.

What does any of that have to do with the top-20 countdown of most memorable soccer games at Barnett Field? It leads us to No. 14 on the list, which was one of the more remarkable comeback victories Florida Southern has had, at Barnett Field or anywhere else. On September 14, 2003, the Moccasins rallied for a 3-2 win over Southern Indiana after trailing by two goals with less than 20 minutes to play. It is one of only five times the Mocs have ever come back for a win after trailing by two goals in the second half of a game.

To be fair, college soccer teams in the United States have an advantage over teams in the Premier League when it comes to staging such rallies. With no overtime in the EPL, any rally stops at 90 minutes, but in the U.S., under current rules, there could be as much as an additional 20 minutes of extra time to determine a winner. The Mocs needed that in their match against Southern Indiana in 2003, but it was an impressive feat nonetheless. For one, it was their second game in less than 24 hours after they had beaten Webber International the night before, a 3-1 victory in which the Mocs played a man down for more than 30 minutes.

The following day, on a Sunday afternoon with a 90-degree temperature at kickoff, the Mocs were right back on the same field with nearly the same lineup and they quickly fell behind when Southern Indiana scored in the 14th minute. The Screaming Eagles added to their lead in the 70th minute, putting the Moccasins in a 2-0 hole.

At that point in the game, the Mocs were being out-shot 12-5, and the outlook may have been grim, but the comeback began less than a minute later when Asa Pepia scored an unassisted goal to put Florida Southern on the board. Six minutes later, the sophomore forward scored again, this time fed by senior defender Robbie Sanger.

Meanwhile, the Screaming Eagles seemed to be wilting. With all of the momentum, the Moccasins were in total control of the game, and less than five minutes into overtime, Sanger ended it on the golden goal, this time with Pepia on the assist. The Mocs also staged the comeback after two starters, Jonathan Streets and Pete Schiebel, were forced out by injuries early in the first half and did not return. Clint Harris made six saves for Florida Southern but did not have to make any after the second goal by Southern Indiana as the Moccasin defense, led by Sanger, Clay Roberts, Panu Purhonen, and Boomer Morgan completely shut down the Screaming Eagles for the final 25 minutes.

Of the five times Florida Southern has come back to win a game after trailing by two goals in the second half, it is the only time the Mocs have done that in the final 20 minutes.


#20 on the Countdown: October 24, 1958
#19 on the Countdown: September 16, 1999
#18 on the Countdown: September 25, 1980
#17 on the Countdown: October 26, 2013
#16 on the Countdown: September 25, 1978
#15 on the Countdown: October 22, 1988