ST. PAUL - Despite a slow start, the St. Thomas men's soccer team overcame that start to capture a 2-1 win over Saint Mary's University on Wednesday afternoon at South Field to open up Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) play.
With the win, the Tommies improve to 5-1-0 on the year and begin the league portion of their schedule 1-0-0. The Cardinals suffer their first loss of the year and drop to 4-1-0 overall and open MIAC play 0-1-0.
Saint Mary's came out firing in the opening 10 minutes, putting up a shot and a pair of corner kicks to stretch the early advantage in the statistics.
The Tommies got a spark from their bench late in the first half, scoring the game's first goal thanks to a pair of freshmen reserves. Mankato native Jacob Makela sent a perfectly-placed cross into the box where Lucas Horton put it away for his second goal of the year.
The goal gave St. Thomas a 1-0 lead headed to the half, but less than five minutes after the break, Saint Mary's evened the score with a goal by Sean Butcher. Charles Reit sent a serve into the box from the left side wherer Butcher put it away to tie it 1-1.
From there, the Tommies pushed forward to score 10 minutes later on Justin Oliver's sixth goal of the season. Oliver started the play with a pass to Shae Bottum, who sent it right back on a give-and-go. Oliver took the pass back in stride and sent it into the upper right corner of the goal to score the eventual game-winner.
St. Thomas finished with a 16-6 advantage in shots, including a 8-3 edge in shots on goal. In goal, Aidan Hogan recorded his fifth win of the year in a nine-save effort. Saint Mary's keeper Nate Levy suffered his first loss of the year after making six saves.
The Tommies will be back in action on Saturday, when they travel to Collegeville to take on Saint John's at 1:00 pm.