LONGWOOD FALLS TO WINTHROP IN REGULAR-SEASON FINALE
“While the result put us in a helpless position of not being able to control our own destiny when it comes to the conference tournament, there were plenty of positives to take from this game,” said head coach Jon Atkinson. “I felt we played some of our best soccer all season and the effort was fantastic. Winthrop defended their home turf well and took their goals well. We were a little disappointed to concede a goal with seconds remaining in the first half due to our first breakdown all night. We controlled the game for large parts of the second half, from start to finish, and while a counter-attack goal stunned us, there were many chances to change the course of events.
“This season has been an invaluable experience for this young squad, who competed well with almost everyone, but lacked a cutting edge. We will cross our fingers and hope for the results to fall our way, but in any effect, I am enthused about the potential this squad has.”
Junior Jared Windt|Haymarket (Battlefield), sophomores Daena Bodie|Guernsey, England (St. Sampson's Secondary School) and Jonathan Kukapa|Leesburg (Clarksburg Md.), and freshmen Sam Yardley|Fairfax Station (Robinson) and Ikechukwu Etonyeaku|Norfolk (Maury) led the Lancers with two shots apiece on the night. Seniors Devin Pierce|Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes) and Adel Sarras|Burke (Annandale), sophomore Anthony Ugorji|Washington, D.C. (Archbishop Carroll), and freshmen Zach Corcoran|Martinsville (Martinsville) and Mike Durr|Brandon, Miss. (Brandon) each notched one shot, as well. Sophomore goalkeeper Paul Hegedus|Ashburn (Broad Run) recorded two saves in the complete-game performance.
The squads battled for possession in the first half, as both sides struggled to get on the board. The Lancers had a chance to break the game open with back-to-back shots from Pierce and Kukapa. Pierce launched a hard ball from 25-yards out, but it sailed just wide. Kukapa followed, saving a cross from going out-of-bounds before turning to fire a low shot back across the goal, missing wide right.
With just over 30 seconds remaining in the half, Magnus Thorsson sent a through ball over top of the LU defense and bouncing towards the net for Marc Segarra, who tapped it by Hegedus to give the Eagles the slight, 1-0 lead at the half.
Longwood took control of the momentum coming out of the break, outshooting Winthrop, 10-2, in the second half and had several opportunities to knot the game. Durr threatened for the Lancers when he collected a pass and ripped a shot towards the left corner, but a good save by WU’s Enrique Miranda extinguished the opportunity. In the 74th minute, Windt took a one-touch shot off of a drop pass from 10-yards out before Miranda pulled through for the Eagles once again, this time on a diving save.
Winthrop added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute, as Achille Obougou made a move to draw Hegedus out of his position before sending a pass to Adriano Negri for the one-timer that found the empty net.
The Lancers tried to pull within one in the 85th minute on a header to the back post by Ugorji, but the shot was knocked away by the falling Eagles’ keeper, sealing the 2-0 victory for Winthrop.
Longwood outshot Winthrop, 15-10, in the contest, while Winthrop took a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks. Wednesday’s match marked the sixth meeting ever between the Lancers and the Eagles in the sport of men’s soccer. Winthrop now leads the series, 6-0.