Last Friday evening, the dejected Flames left West Florida after the Argonauts were awarded a penalty kick in the final minute, forcing Lee to settle for a 1-1 tie.
On Tuesday evening at the Lee Soccer Field, the Flames and West Alabama were knotted at 2 in the 86th minute when the Tigers were called for a foul in the box and the Flames were presented with a PK. Senior Josh Ball zipped his ninth goal of the season into the back of the net and the Flames turned back a final charge by the visitors to claim the hard-fought 3-2 victory.
“Another night, another battle in the GSC,” said coach Paul Furey. “We beat a good team tonight. Our guys can be proud.”
Tuesday’s win marked the second time this season that Lee defeated West Alabama in the closing minutes. On Oct. 2, the Flames battled back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in Livingston.
Senior Chevon Roberts got the Flames off to a quick start with his first goal of the season. Travis Kiger delivered the assist and Roberts powered the ball into the back of the net, putting Lee up 1-0 with only 2:42 gone off the clock.
“Chev’s (Roberts) goal was just an unbelievable shot,” pointed out Furey. “It was a great way for us to start the match.”
West Alabama tied the game in the 39th minute when the Flames were caught off guard by Thibault Charmey. The forward quickly took advantage of the napping Lee defense and his free kick sailed into the left corner of the net.
The contest was knotted 1-1 at the half but Charmey put the Tigers on top in the 57th minute (2-1) with his seventh goal of the year. It also came on a free kick from the top left corner of the box.
Lee fought back to tie the exciting match in the 66th minute. Gabe Franco tallied his first goal of the year on Eli Price’s assist. “We battled back from a 2-1 deficit and that again shows the character of this team,” said the pleased Furey.
Lee’s defense held the Tigers to only 10 shots, but six were on target. Keeper Tom Halsall had four saves in the win. The Flames fired 15 shots and put eight on the mark. West Alabama’s Lavares Stone was credited with four saves.
The Flames improved to 5-3-3 overall and now hold an impressive 4-2-3 mark in the GSC. “We have a big weekend ahead,” noted the coach. “We will try to keep it going.”
The Flames will hit the road for GSC matches on Friday and Sunday. They will face Christian Brothers at 8 p.m. on Friday, and then travel on down to Cleveland, Miss., and challenge Delta State on Sunday afternoon at 4:30.