Sep 18, 2012

Longwood Soccer Recap

Courtesy of LongwoodLancers.com

ON THE PITCH: WEEK 4, LONGWOOD 2-5

FARMVILLE, Va. -- 
The Longwood University men’s soccer team split a pair of Big South Conference matches last week. The Lancers defeated VMI, 3-2, on September 12 before falling to High Point University, 5-1, on Sept. 15. The squad returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 18 when it travels to the University of Richmond for a 7:30 p.m. tilt.


Recapping VMI
Longwood controlled the pace of play early, tallying eight shots in the first 45 minutes while not allowing VMI to take any. Neither squad was able to move the net in the first period, but both squads went on the attack coming out of the break, combining for all five of the game's goals in the second half.

VMI broke the match open in the 47th minute on a header. After more than 27 minutes of scoreless action, junior Jared Windt|Haymarket (Battlefield) converted on a penalty kick for the Lancers after VMI was issued a yellow card in the 74th to tie the game. The Lancers took their first lead of the night less than 30 seconds later, as sophomore Jonathan Kukapa|Leesburg (Clarksburg Md.) made a pass from the left side of the box that found freshman Sam Yardley|Fairfax Station (Robinson) near the right post for the header on goal.

In the 79th minute, the Keydets retaliated to tie the score for the second time in the match, but the Lancers would score what would become the winning goal in the 83rd minute of play when sophomore Anthony Ugorji|Washington, D.C. (Archbishop Carroll) dribbled to the end line on a breakaway and sent a cross in front of the net to Kukapa, who fired into the right side of the net to give Longwood the 3-2 victory. Wednesday's outing marked the 13th meeting between the Lancers and the Keydets in the sport of men's soccer. Longwood now leads the all-time series, 10-3.

Head Coach John Atkinson on VMI
“This game had it all, and fortunately for us, it had a happy ending in what was a must-win game. I give credit to VMI, who showed true grit throughout and made a good run of it in the second half, as the game opened up. I thought we showed our best and worst tonight, playing some good, composed soccer, and only missed a goal for all the good work. As often happens in this game, just as you are feeling in control, you get hit with a sucker punch. It took a dramatic final 20 minutes to pull this result out of the bag.

“We had some excellent contributions from the starters and from our bench to make this a true team performance.”

Recapping High Point
The squads battled back and forth through over 18 minutes of scoreless action until Yadley dribbled down the left side and dished a cross to Ugorji near the right post for the shot and goal, putting the Lancers up, 1-0.

High Point retaliated with two goals before the first half expired to take a slim, 2-1 lead that they would carry into the break. The Panthers then added three goals in the second half to seal the victory.

Five different Lancers tallied one shot apiece in the outing. Ugorji, Windt, senior Devin Pierce|Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes), sophomore Daena Bodie|Guernsey, England (St. Sampson's Secondary) and freshman Christian Keilty|Spotsylvania (Riverbend) each registered a shot on the night. The match marked the 11th meeting between the Lancers and the Panthers. The all-time series is now tied, 5-5-1.

Head Coach Jon Atkinson on High Point
“This wasn't our best day at the office. After a solid start, our play deteriorated and didn't come to terms with the extra pace of play on a faster surface. I give credit to High Point. They have plenty of talent and will do well this year. I think our players will be disappointed with some of their decision making out there and will have to be corrected in time for Richmond.”

Big South Conference Attacking Player of the Week
Pierce was recognized as the Big South Conference Attacking Player of the Week for the week of Sept. 11. This honor marks the first-ever Big South men's soccer Player of the Week selection for Longwood. Pierce posted two goals to lead Longwood to a 1-1 record last week, including its first-ever Big South men's soccer victory.  After scoring the team's lone goal against UNC Greensboro on September 4, Pierce notched the game-winner on a penalty kick at UNC Asheville to give the Lancers the 1-0 win on September 9.

Lancers Are Live on the Big South Network
Longwood will be video streaming a select number of its home contests this year live on the Big South Network, including three men’s soccer matches. The first broadcast will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 26 against Campbell at 7 p.m. The Big South Network is the official video provider for all Big South Conference games. Each member institution is required to produce broadcasts for home events to be streamed via the conference network. A paid subscription is required to view live events, with both single-game and season passes available. You can watch all of the Lancers' webcasts and see a schedule of upcoming events by visiting www.longwoodlancers.com or www.bigsouthsports.com.

Leading the Charge
Pierce leads the Lancers with two goals for four points on a team-high 13 shots. Kukapa has three points, after registering the game-winning goal along with an assist against VMI. Ugorji and Yardley also have three points apiece so far this season. Windt and freshman Philip van Berkom|Zetten, The Netherlands (Hendrik Pierson College) have added to the offensive effort with one goal for two points each, while junior Brian Henry|Stafford (Colonial Forge) has one point after recording the assist on van Berkom’s goal.

In the Net
Carpenter leads the Lancers in the net with 30 saves in 489+ minutes played. Sophomore Paul Hegedus|Ashburn (Broad Run), who has two starts on the season thus far, has four saves in 117+ minutes of action, while freshman Seth Erdman|Hummelstown, Pa. (Lower Dauphin) has two saves in 34+ minutes.

Statistical Summary
As a team, the Lancers are ranked 34th in the nation with an average of 5.14 saves per game. Carpenter is individually ranked 24th in the nation with 32 total saves and an average of 5.33 saves per game.

Coaching Staff
Head coach Jon Atkinson is in his eighth season at the helm of the Lancers program. He is assisted by Eduardo de Souza, who was recently appointed associate head coach. Don Herlan is in his third year as a volunteer assistant coach.

Up Next
The Lancers will travel to Richmond on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. before hosting league opponent Gardner-Webb on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:00 p.m.