Eckerd rallied from a halftime deficit to remain undefeated in Sunshine State Conference play as it defeated Saint Leo 2-1 on Tuesday night at the Turley Athletic Complex.
Daniel Asher gave the Lions a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute, capitalizing on an excellent cross by Leonardo Noqueira from the right. Asher controlled before firing his shot home from the left side of the penalty area.
Saint Leo (3-5-0, 0-2-0 SSC) had other opportunities to score in the first half, but were denied thanks to some excellent play by Tritons goalkeeper Domenic Spedaliere, who made four first-half saves.
That proved to be crucial as Eckerd (5-3-0, 3-0-0) tied the game eight minutes into the second half. Luke Sheekey, who earlier in the week was named the SSC offensive player of the week, scored off a rebound to tie the game.
Sheekey also had a hand in what proved to be the game-winner, slotting a through-ball into the penalty area for Anthony Arico, who fired home.
The Lions tried to rebound, but were unable to create any serious chance to equalize as they were unable to put a shot on Spedaliere’s goal in the final 45 minutes.
Sheekey was thrilled to have finally defeated the Lions, who hadn’t lost to their St. Petersburg-rival since the 2003-04 season.
"It is unbelievable,” Sheekey said. “3-0 in the conference for the first time, first win against Saint Leo, it means the world to me, it means the world to our coach, it means the world to our players.”
Both sides will next take to the field on Saturday, with Eckerd trying to remain undefeated in SSC play against Rollins, and Saint Leo hosting Florida Tech at University Field.