CANTON, Mo. -- If you subscribe to the theory that cats have nine lives, the Culver-Stockton College men's soccer team has been using six or seven on a nightly basis.
The Wildcats were down to their final one Wednesday night.
With the start delayed 96 minutes by lightning and rain falling steadily throughout the first half, C-SC fell behind 2-1 during a slippery first 20 minutes. The Wildcats scored the equalizer in the 66th minute and beat Saint Ambrose 3-2 at NX Level Field when Javier Magallon scored with 22 seconds remaining in the second overtime.
"It's an amazing feeling when everyone is rushing on the field, tackling you, celebrating," Magallon said.
The overtime victory was the second for C-SC in its 4-0 start, although the other ended less than six minutes into the first extra period.
"This group has no will to quit," Magallon said. "We fight every minute of the game, even if it's overtime. We play with each other. We don't get mad at each other. We're all one. That was a team effort."
The Wildcats needed a little from everyone to overcome a couple of early mistakes.
C-SC grabbed the lead in the 11th minute when View Rungpao set up William Mansfield for a goal and a 1-0 lead. Three minutes later, Saint Ambrose's Nicolas Vizuete hit a low liner that slipped through the hands of Wildcats goalkeeper Nicholas Luciani and rolled into the net to tie the game.
"It was a routine save our keeper would normally make, and he's a very good keeper," C-SC coach Blake Ordell said. "I told him he should thank his teammates."
Five minutes after tying the game, the Bees took the lead when a C-SC defender slipped and fell, allowing Alex Garcia to make a run at the goal and finish for a 2-1 advantage.
The goals were the first ones the Wildcats have allowed in the run of play. The other two goals allowed in the first three games were on penalty kicks.
That fact didn't discourage C-SC, which got the equalizer in the 66th minute when Mansfield scored his second goal off an assist from Brenden Schaeffer.
"It's massive to battle and fight hard," Ordell said. "I love the grit and desire to win."
Neither team had a high-quality scoring chance in the two overtimes, and it was beginning to look like it would end in a draw.
"As it was winding down, I was getting skeptical. They proved me wrong because they kept going at it," Ordell said.
With less than a minute to play, C-SC defender Luke Blackburn collected a ball on the right wing and drove a cross to the far post. Magallon attacked from the left wing and drove home the header.
"I knew he was going to cross it, because that's what we've been working on in practice," Magallon said. "It just so happened I was in the right place at the right time."
Culver-Stockton 3, Saint Ambrose 2
7 Shots 11
3 Saves 5
6 Corners 7
20 Fouls 18
1 Offsides 2
Saint Ambrose 2 0 0 0--2
C-SC 1 1 0 1--3
C-SC--William Mansfield (View Rungpao), 11:35
SA--Nicolas Vizuete (unassisted), 14:32
SA--Alex Garcia (unassisted), 19:16
C-SC--Mansfield (Brenden Schaeffer), 66:39
C-SC--Javier Magallon (Luke Blackburn), 109:38