Joliet, Il – IIT men's soccer got back in the winner's column with a 2-1 overtime defeat of University of St Francis at Joliet Memorial Stadium on Tuesday evening. Brandon Ramirez's free kick sealed the golden goal win for the Hawks after Nordine Amlaiky had leveled the scores in regulation time.
A tight tussle in the midfield provided few chances for either team in the opening quarter hour of the game. It wasn't until the 22nd minute when USF's Christian Ontiveros broke the deadlock for the home side with a cool finish past IIT's keeper EJ Yang. Ontiveros found space inside the box before dispatching past Yang to give the hosts a 1-0 advantage.
IIT found themselves level on the stroke of halftime with some good fortune. Forward Tommy Gasienica's shot was deflected by a USF defender before falling favorably to the Hawks' Nordine Amlaiky and he guided the ball in to the left side of the goal and gave the Hawks a much needed breath of life going into halftime.
While the first half was somewhat cagey, the second half was anything but, with both sides frantically pressing forward in search of the winner. The physicality of the contest was near reaching boiling point despite both teams having great chances, including a crossbar-blocked attempt by USF.
The match went into overtime, the fourth extra play for Tech on the season. In the Hawks three previous overtimes, neither team had been able to score with the games ending in a tie. However it was a different story this time when Ramirez found the back of the net 7 minutes in. Ramirez stunned the home side when his free kick from 35 yards out looped over the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. It was Ramirez' 3rd goal of the season and gave the Hawks a much needed victory.
With the win, the Hawks improve to 4-3-3 on the season. Next up is a trip to Indiana to face Holy Cross on Saturday at 1:30 pm CST.