BOCA RATON, Fla. – Lynn University's 12th-ranked men's soccer team dominated the stats sheet but needed a goal by Simon Gubisch in the 84th minute to snap a tie and give his team a 2-1 victory over No. 21 Tampa on Saturday night in the league opener. Chris Hellmann continued his offensive mastery with a goal and assist to help the Fighting Knights improve to 6-1-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the Sunshine State Conference.
The Blue & White have now won 15 consecutive conference openers and are 16-0-1 all-time in their first SSC match of the year.
Owning a 1-0 lead in the 83rd minute, Tampa (5-2-1, 0-1-0 SSC) was able to knot the game up when Lynn's defense could not completely clear a corner kick attempt and surrendered a shot by Andrew Clare inside the left post for the equalizer.
One minute and 23 seconds later the Blue & White was on the attack, determined to win in regulation. Hellmann collected a ball near the top-right corner, moved to his left and fired a shot off the left post. Gubisch followed the shot and was able to easily get a shot off through traffic for the game-winner.
In the 88th minute, Lukas Zlatartis had the opportunity to ice the game, again off a pass from Hellmann, but the shot rattled off the right post. In the game, Lynn hit the post three times.
Lynn came to play from the opening whistle, blasting five shots in the first 6:28 of play. Gatien Salaun nearly put his team on top two minutes in when his first shot was saved by Zak Downes while his second attempt was cleared off the goal line by Tampa's defense.
Kerst Lehmann was the first to hit the post in the 20th minute when he let loose an attempt from left of center near the top of the box. The ball sailed across the keeper and hit squarely in the center of the right post before being cleared away by the Spartans defense.
All of the Fighting Knights scoring frustrations were relieved in the 58th minute of play off Hellmann's team, conference and nation leading ninth goal. Jason Sangha began the play with a slotted pass along the back line to Javier Mochon, who took one touch, surveyed the field and launched a long pass over the UT defense. The ball took one enormous bounce over Downes head and Hellmann was there to shield both Downes and his defender to net the opening goal.
Hellmann not only leads the nation in goals but his 21 points through seven matches is also a Division II-best.
Lynn outshot Tampa 25-2, holding the Spartans without an attempt until the 79th minute, while keeping a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks. Downes turned away 10 shots and his defense earned two team saves. Max Schmidt did not record a save.
The Fighting Knights are back in action on Wednesday, October 1, at 7 p.m. when they battle long-time rival Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla. Fans can watch the action live at LynnFightingKnights.com and receive in-game updates by following @Lynn_Knights on Twitter and Instagram.