MACON, GA— The Winthrop men’s soccer team remained unbeaten through its first five games of the season after a 5-2 victory over Stetson, Sunday afternoon in its final game of the Mercer Classic.
Winthrop is now 4-0-1 on the year after scoring a season-high five goals against Stetson, all five games of which have come on the road. Stetson falls to 1-3-1 on the year. This is the best start to a season for the Eagles since 2004 when they started 7-0-1.
“Obviously happen to win the tournament with a win today. Having said that, our work rate, intensity and focus wasn’t where it needs to be. Overall it was a solid weekend and it’s been a good start to the season, but we still have a lot to improve on and will work on that in practice.”
The Eagles didn’t waste much time getting on the scoreboard with two goals in the first six and a half minutes. The first goal came at the 6:15 mark as sophomore Magnus Thorsson received a pass from freshman Max Hasenstab and then placed the ball into the top right corner of the frame for his first of the season. Just 18 seconds later, Hasenstab took advantage of a defensive mistake by Stetson as he intercepted the ball and fired a shot low and to the right of the keeper for his second goal of the season.
Stetson didn’t take long to cut the lead in half as J.J. Bostic scored his first goal of the season on a header off a corner kick service from Raffaele Centofanti in the 14th minute.
Winthrop’s sophomore midfielder C.J. Miller made it a 3-1 game just before halftime when he netted his first collegiate goal in the 35th minute after his shot took a slight deflection off the leg of a defender and into the net.
The start of the second half favored Stetson as it nearly got back into the match in the 49th minute when Gonzalo Arroyo hit the post.
The Eagles defense withheld the early second half onslaught by the Hatters and eventually put in its fourth goal in the 67th minute. This time it was redshirt junior Josh Choice, who had just subbed into the match in the 56th minute, hit a one-time shot off a corner kick delivery from Hasenstab.
Junior Sean Comer added the fifth and final goal for the Eagles when he received a pass from James Skonicki and placed a shot over the head of the goalkeeper for his first goal of the season.
Stetson added a late goal when Justin Shirah crossed the ball in front of the goal and Dwight Lodge flicked the ball past Avelar with 23 seconds remaining in the game.
It was the first time all season the Eagles have allowed more than one goal in a game as Avelar finished with five saves.
Hasenstab, Thorsson, Achille Obougou and Jordi Lluch were named to the Mercer Classic All-Tournament Team.
Winthrop is back in action on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. when it finally returns to Rock Hill to take on Brevard College in its home opener.
Order of Finish in Tournament
1. Winthrop (2-0-0)
2. Mercer (1-1)*
3. Georgia Southern (1-1)
4. Stetson (0-2)
*Mercer earns the second-place finish due to its head-to-head win over Georgia Southern
(MVP) Magnus Thorsson- Winthrop
Jordi Lluch- Winthrop
Max Hasenstab- Winthrop
Achille Obougou- Winthrop
Brady O’Brien- Mercer
Greg Ranjitsingh- Mercer
Ehjayson Henry- Mercer
Neal Bates- Georgia Southern
Josh Ward- Georgia Southern
Steven Saballos- Stetson
JJ Bostic- Stetson