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UMW Men’s Soccer Blanks NC Wesleyan, 4-0, in Season Opener

UMW Men’s Soccer Blanks NC Wesleyan, 4-0, in Season Opener

The University of Mary Washington men's soccer team picked up where they left off last season as they blanked North Carolina Wesleyan College, 4-0, in the season opener on Friday evening. The Eagles recorded their first shutout of the season after having 13 last season.

In the first half, both teams couldn't seem to find a rhythm on the offensive side of the ball. Just three total shots on target occurred for the two teams. The Battling Bishops had the first real chance of the evening as a forward of the Battling Bishops slipped by the Eagles' defense, but the shot taken was missed wide. 

Pierre Richard recorded the first shot of the season for UMW in the seventh minute but the ball sailed high. Kenny Kurtz made his only save of the half in the tenth minute as a header came in, but Kurtz pulled it down. In the 25th minute, Kevin Conrad had a look off of a corner kick but was stopped by the goalie at the goal line. The last chance for UMW in the first half took place in the 44th minute, when Joe Hatcher took a shot at goal but was denied by a fingertip.

The Eagles came to play in the second half as Soriano broke the 0-0 tie. Soriano took a shot that was saved by the goalie, it was then recovered by Joshua Everard and he played it back to Soriano to put in the back of the net for the first goal of the season. UMW kept the pressure on in the next 25 minutes as freshman Josh Kirkland put two goals in the back of the net.

Kirkland scored his first career goal at the 69:42 mark and then scored his second on a series of moves past defenders to put the Eagles up 3-0 with 19 minutes to play. From there, North Carolina Wesleyan had to press up to try and get back in the game, but the Eagles' defense stayed strong. Kurtz had to make his second save of the game in the 84th minute to deny the Battling Bishops of scoring. 

Jeremy Hokenson capped the scoring for UMW as he put one in the back of the net with 2:02 left in the game. Freshman Gabriel Francesconi played a good ball past the defense onto Hokenson's foot and Hokenson finished with a ball past the goalie.

UMW outshot NC Wesleyan 19-11 and won the corner kick battle 5-4.

The Eagles will be back in action tomorrow evening as they will play Johns Hopkins University as part of the UMW Classic at 5 p.m. UMW defeated the Blue Jays 2-1 in OT last season.