St. Thomas beat Viterbo University (La Crosse, Wis.) 3-1 in its non-conference game Tuesday evening, pulling away from a 1-1 tie at halftime.
The Tommies had a 17-5 advantage in shots and got points from five different players in their comeback victory.
“We came out strong and finally played as a team,” sophomore goalie Jace Leiferman said. “We worked hard for each other, and it showed.”
Viterbo’s leading scorer, junior James Lockley, was the first to score 28 minutes into the first half when he connected on a penalty kick.
St. Thomas senior Mike Hutton quickly answered back, scoring a goal in the 33rd minute with an assist from freshman Doug Thoresen to tie the game at 1-1.
The Tommies came back recharged in the second half with sophomore Alex Bernhardt, assisted by Nick Rapisarda, scoring his first collegiate goal 51 minutes into the game.
Things got physical near the end of the game, and the referees gave a yellow card to Tommie junior Brett Day and a red card to Viterbo sophomore Mark Burton. Burton’s red card led to junior Josh Pozner’s penalty kick goal in the 88th minute to make it 3-1.
St. Thomas coach Aaron Macke was pleased with how the team played.
“I thought the team’s performance was outstanding, I’m so proud of them,” Macke said. “We talked a lot about teams in our conference that play very physical, and we knew Viterbo was going to come in here and do that. I challenged them to play every ball, get in on tackles and be professional for a full night, and they were.”
Next up the Tommies will travel to Minneapolis on Saturday to play a conference game against Augsburg.
Jessica Barton can be reached at email@example.com