Mick Lyon of Evansville University scored a goal with less than a minute left in the game to give the West team a 3-2 victory over the East in the Soccer Bowl Senior All-Star match Saturday at Santa Ana Stadium.
Lyon's game-winning kick was set up when Matt Smith (University of Akron) lofted a free kick that deflected through a maze of players in the penalty area. The ball bounded to Lyon, who lined a shot past East goalie Joe DeMorat (Rutgers), who had been knocked down by the West's Bruce Murray (Clemson).
"I knew there were just a few seconds left," Lyon said, "and once the ball bounded to me, I just kicked the ball as hard as I could kick it. It was a case of being in the right place at the right time."
The East, which trails in the series, 11-5, scored the game's first goal when Chris Reif (University of Connecticut) deflected a shot by Paul Duffy (Seton Hall) past West goalie Mark Dodd (Duke) with eight minutes played in the contest.
The West, which had been frustrated by the East's physical defense in the first half, tied the score in the second half's first minute when Joey Kirk (Cal State Northridge) lined home an angle kick.
Nine minutes after Kirk's score, the East regained the lead when Stan Koziol (Loyola) grounded a straight-away kick past West goalkeeper Jeff Kaplan (Ohio Wesleyan).
The West tied the score, 2-2, midway through the period when Jeff Hooker (UCLA) scored off a pass from Femi Olukanni (Fresno State).
Olukanni, who dazzled the 1,000 fans in attendance with his hustle and ballhandling skills, was named the game's best offensive player.
Ben Okaroh, Boston University's aggressive defender, was named the best defensive player.
"I thought this was an exciting soccer game to watch because of all the offensive attacking going on," said West Coach Chuck Clegg of San Diego State. "There was a lot of end-to-end action on both ends. Lyon, I thought, played well enough to be both the outstanding offensive and defensive players because of his play on both ends of the ball."