The Oglethorpe men's soccer team played their best game of the season so far Friday night, extending their SAA unbeaten streak to 23 games in emphatic fashion with a 9-0 rout of a Birmingham-Southern team who came in tied with the Stormy Petrels for first place in the conference with a 2-0 record. The Petrels left the Oglethorpe Track and Field Friday night having firmly placed themselves in the inside track for the SAA race, improving their record to 3-0 in league play and 8-3 overall. It also marked the program's largest-ever margin of victory in a conference game and the most goals they've scored in a single game since an 11-0 win over LaGrange in 2006.
The Petrels didn't waste much time getting started, as sophomore midfielder Affonso Temporal took a pass from senior midfielder Josh Bronstorph in the 16th minute and weaved through multiple defenders before finishing past the Birmingham-Southern goalkeeper for a 1-0 lead. The home side scored again in the 25th minute when senior forward Ryan Marcano and sophomore forward Abraham Lopez found themselves on a two-on-one break. Marcano drove into the box and slipped a pass to Lopez, who easily finished to give his team a 2-0 lead. Marcano added a goal of his own in the 31st minute when freshman forward James Williams beat a defender down the left side and played a perfect pass across to Marcano on the ground. The senior made no mistake, making it a 3-0 game.
Oglethorpe maintained their three-goal advantage headed into halftime, but they truly exploded in the second half. It began in the 53rd minute, when senior defender Christian Waegelin finished off an assist from Temporal. Less than a minute later, Grodhaus took a pass from Bronstorph in the box and slotted it home to extend the advantage to 5-0. Bronstorph provided another assist in the 55th minute, this time setting up Lopez for his second goal of the game.
With the score 6-0, senior forward Gabe Alvarez entered the scoring fray, and the Petrel attacker wound up with a hat trick in a 20-minute stretch of time. He scored his first in the 70th minute off an assist from Williams. Williams won a penalty kick in the 75th minute and Alvarez stepped to the spot and blasted his shot past the Panther goalkeeper to make it 8-0. Then in the 89th minute, Alvarez scored on a beautiful free kick that knuckled past the Birmingham-Southern netminder to finish off the scoring at 9-0.
The Petrels outshot Birmingham-Southern for 29-12 over the course of the game, including a whopping 17-5 mark in shots on goal.
Oglethorpe freshman goalkeeper Ulises Rodriguez tallied five saves in the victory, as well, earning his first career clean sheet.
The Petrels quickly turn around and take on Millsaps Sunday at 3:30 p.m. from the Oglethorpe Track and Field. After that, they'll hit the road for games against Rhodes and Hendrix next weekend.