LONGWOOD FALLS TO RADFORD 3-0
FARMVILLE, Va. – The Longwood University men’s soccer team dropped a 3-0 decision to Big South Conference opponent Radford University (5-2-3, 3-0) on Wednesday evening in Farmville. Freshman Ikechuwu Etonyeaku|Norfolk (Maury) led the Lancers (3-8-1, 2-6-1) with two shots in the outing. Longwood will return to action Saturday, October 6 when the squad travels to George Mason University for a 7 p.m. tilt.
“Fair credit can be given to Radford, who worked hard to make it difficult for us and took their opportunities well, but we have to question how much we participated in the result,” said head coach Jon Atkinson. “In the first half, our performance lacked purpose, but at 1-0, we always had a chance. Just as we were starting to get a grip of the game, we were very unfortunate to go a man down, which made the task even harder. With that being said, we played better with 10 and finally showed some enterprise in the final third. I hope we heed some lessons to finish the season well.”
In addition to Etonyeaku, three other Lancers registered a shot on the night. Senior Devin Pierce|Virginia Beach, senior Adel Sarras|Burke (Annandale) and freshman Rhys Cairns|Washington, England (St. Roberts of Newminster RC School) each posted one shot in the match. Sophomore goalkeeper Paul Hegedus|Ashburn (Broad Run) registered four saves in 68:45 in front of the net. Freshman Seth Erdman|Hummelstown, Pa. (Lower Dauphin) came off the bench to play the last 21:15 of the game.
Radford controlled the momentum early and was awarded a penalty kick in the fifth minute following a Longwood foul. Bernado Ulmo was successful on the attempt, finding the lower left corner of the net, to give the Highlanders an early 1-0 lead.
The teams battled back and forth in the middle of the field until an RU corner kick opportunity sparked a flurry of chances for the Highlanders in the 23rd minute, but a strong defensive effort by the Lancers extinguished the opportunities. A Radford forward sent a shot toward the lower right post that was turned away by a diving Hegedus. A second shot was put on goal before Hegedus could recover, but freshman Sam Yardley|Fairfax Station (Robinson) took a good angle into the cage for the defensive save. The Highlanders picked up the rebound once again and sent a third shot toward the net, this time sailing just high and hitting the crossbar, allowing the Lancers to clear the ball and get out of the situation unscathed.
Neither team was able to find the net before the first half expired, sending the teams into the break with a one-goal differential. Coming out of halftime, Evan Jones|Midlothian (Midlothian) was issued a red card before Radford’s Jannik Eckenrode found the back of the net with a leaping shot to make it a 2-0 game.
The Lancers’ offense went on the attack in the 70th minute, when Etonyeaku dished a pass across the box to Pierce, who fired off a hard shot that flew just wide of the net. Sarras followed with a shot of his own from 25 yards out, but it sailed just high before Etonyeaku put a shot on goal that was stopped the RU keeper.
The Highlanders added an insurance goal in 78th minute from Ramzi Dridi. Wednesday’s match marked the 16th meeting between Longwood and Radford in the sport of men’s soccer. With tonight’s victory, the Highlanders now hold a slight, 8-7-1 advantage in the all-time series.