Bridgeview, Ill. – The Roosevelt men's soccer team overcame an early deficit with a second-half equalizer, but settled for a draw in its 2012 season opener as the Lakers and visiting Arizona Christian were knotted at 1-1 following 110 minutes on Thursday night at Toyota Park.
Trailing 1-0 in the 63rd minute, Roosevelt (0-0-1) freshman Leo Rodriguez served a ball in from midfield that found the head of fellow rookie Brandon Asher making a central run through the Firestorm (0-0-1) defense. Asher's header bounded over the head of keeper Josh Chelpka, who had come off the line attempting to cut off the play, and into the goal to level the score.
Asher's marker was the only ball that got past Chelpka, who made eight critical saves on the night.
After playing the first of two 10-minute overtime sessions with no significant chances for either side, the Firestorm had the best attempt at ending the contest in the second overtime. Freshman Jake Cignelik made a diving save, though, on a boot from Jose Perez to preserve the tie.
Despite Roosevelt controlling possession through the opening 15 minutes, it was Arizona Christian that broke through on the scoreboard first. In the 17th minute Tim Vidauretta laced a shot from the right wing that was deflected by Roosevelt starting keeper Jose Ortiz. The rebound found its way to Kenny Sale and he punched the ball into the back of the net to put the Firestorm in front.
Roosevelt, which was playing in its first match since the program was disbanded in 1989, outshot Arizona Christian, 15-6, including nine on frame.
The Lakers will return to action on Aug. 31 at Harris-Stowe.