Men's Soccer Blanks Hardin-Simmons, 2-0, to Earn Split at Sonny Carter Invitational

Men's Soccer Blanks Hardin-Simmons, 2-0, to Earn Split at Sonny Carter Invitational

The Oglethorpe men's soccer team recovered from a season-opening loss to nationally-ranked Washington and Lee on Friday with a comprehensive victory over Hardin-Simmons on Saturday at Emory's Sonny Carter Invitational. The Stormy Petrels scored a goal in each half for a 2-0 win while dominating the run of play against the Cowboys. The victory improved the team to 1-1 on the season.

Despite the Petrels outshooting the Cowboys 9-3 over the opening period, the game remained scoreless through the opening 40 minutes. Oglethorpe continued to press for the opening goal, though, and when it came, it was on a Hardin-Simmons own goal, of all things. A Cowboy defender accidentally put it in the back of his own net as he tried to clear an Oglethorpe cross in the 42nd minute, and that gave the Petrels an all-important 1-0 lead headed into the halftime break.

Junior goalkeeper Scott Zoino came up big with a couple of saves in the first five minutes of the second half, allowing Oglethorpe to maintain their advantage. That paid dividends moments later, as they doubled their lead. Senior midfielder Topher Marshall played a perfect ball in off a corner kick and senior forward Devon Patterson headed it home for his first goal of the year, giving his team a 2-0 advantage in the 55th minute. From there, it was simply a matter of maintaining the advantage for the Petrels, and they did that, outshooting Hardin-Simmons 8-4 over the second period. 

Junior defender Christian Waegelin and junior midfielder Andrew Grodhaus both earned spots on the Sonny Carter All-Tournament Team for their defensive efforts over the weekend. Both put in outstanding work on Saturday.

Zoino earned his first career shutout, recording three saves in the process. Junior forward Gabriel Alvarez led the team with three total shots, putting two of them on target. 

The Petrels outshot Hardin-Simmons 17-7 overall, including an 8-3 mark in shots on goal. Oglethorpe also took eight corner kicks to the Cowboys' three. 

"I was pleased with the way we bounced back today," said Oglethorpe head coach Jon Akin. "I thought we pressured them throughout the game and could easily have scored more than we did. We'll take the win and move forward into next weekend, when we take on a tough Mary Hardin-Baylor team in our home opener."

The Petrels will go against the Crusaders Friday at 7 p.m. at the Oglethorpe Track and Field. Mary Hardin-Baylor comes off a run to the second weekend of last year's NCAA tournament, and will provide a tough test for the home side. After that, Oglethorpe hits the road, traveling to Virginia to take on Lynchburg and Christopher Newport the following weekend.