by Jules Gonsoulin
Freshmen John “Stewie” Overton was the hero of the men’s soccer team Sunday as the Majors defeated the Rhodes Lynx 2-1 in overtime to retain the Southern Athletic Association regular season conference title. Overton scored two goals, one early in the second half and another just two minutes into overtime to give the Majors the victory.
In the first half, the two teams were fairly evenly matched, but the Majors held a slight advantage on shots, 7-5. The game really opened up in the second half, with both teams making stronger efforts to score. Nico Roth and Daniel Staursky both missed golden chances—Staursky’s shot hit the crossbar, and Roth did not manage to beat Rhodes goalkeeper Riley Sheen.
Overton got his big break in the 65th minute of play, when he turned a stray deflection into a hard, low corner shot for a goal and the 1-0 lead. The Lynx’ Jason Crutcher responded in the 84th minute with a flip shot over goalkeeper Johnathan Huebbe’s head to tie the game at one apiece. Early in the overtime period, the Majors threatened often with back-to-back set pieces that narrowly missed. Overton put the Lynx away in the 92nd minute off a corner kick and header pass from Staursky. With his performance Sunday, Overton carried the Majors to their second straight SAA conference title.
The game was also significant for seniors Chucky Hayden and Chris Lawrence, as they played their final regular season game for the Majors. Hayden and Lawrence are both big-time contributors for the Majors, both starters for all four years at Millsaps. They were honored in a ceremony before the game.
The Majors continue their stellar season this weekend in Conway, Ark., as they begin the SAA tournament at Hendrix College.