MACON, Ga. (MERCER RELEASE) – The Mercer men's soccer team failed to hold and early lead and allowed Gardner-Webb to come all the way back to capture a 2-1 overtime win on Wednesday evening at Bear Field.
Mercer (1-5) out-shot Gardner-Webb (4-2) 19-12 overall and held a slight 8-7 edge in shots on goal in the contest.
The Bears schedule might have something to do with their tough start in 2013, as their first four opponents currently sport a 13-1-1 combined record.
Mercer started the game off with a bang in the 24th minute of play when junior Ashani Samuels flicked in a pass from sophomore David Murtaugh to give the home team an early 1-0 lead.
Just when it looked like the Bears would enter halftime up a goal, the referee awarded Gardner-Webb a penalty kick for a foul in the box with just 15 seconds left in the first half. Senior Marius Hammersmark stepped up and hit the PK attempt just to the left of a diving Mercer goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh to tie the game at 1-1.
The Orange and Black looked to catch a break when sophomore Craig Swaby was issued a red card in the 76th minute of the game for a late tackle from behind to leave the Runnin' Rebels with just 10 men the rest of the way.
Garnder-Webb would have the last laugh, however, as Hammersmark struck again three minute into overtime when he pushed a diving header past Ranjitsingh to secure the 2-1 win for the visitors.
Ranjitsingh made five saves in the game while Gardner-Webb keeper Matthew Swan stopped seven shots in the win.
Mercer is back in action on September 21 when it travels to Birmingham to take on No. 16 UAB. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. at West Campus Field.