ROCK HILL, SC—The start to the 2013 season has been a good one for the Winthrop men’s soccer team as it looks to extend its unbeaten streak when it travels to Lexington, VA to take on the Virginia Military Institute on Saturday, Sept. 27 at 11:30 a.m.
It is the Big South Conference opener for the Eagles as they take on a VMI team that is already 1-1 in the league after a 3-2 road win at Liberty. All-time the Eagles are 19-8-1 in league openers and have won three straight.
Winthrop is off to a 6-0-1 start and just one win shy of tying the best start to a season in the program’s history without a loss. The start ties the 2003 team for the second best start without a loss and the 1994 squad holds the best start at 7-0-1. Nationally the Eagles are one of just 11 teams remaining without a loss.
Entering Saturday morning’s contest, Winthrop ranks 7th nationally in scoring at 2.57 goals per game led by freshman Max Hasenstab’s four goals and four assists (22nd nationally in scoring). Winthrop has almost been as good defensively sporting a 0.69 goals against average that is 30th nationally. The team’s .872 save percentage ranks 11th.
In addition to Hasenstab, senior Achille Obougou has been involved offensively with three goals and two assists which includes setting up the game-winning goal to Hasenstab in the 1-0 win at UNC Greensboro earlier in the week.
Senior Adriano Negri and freshman Jose Mencia each have two goals while a total of 11 different players have goals for the Eagles this season.
Junior Guilherme Avelar has been very good in net for the Eagles posting a 0.74 goals against average and is coming off his second shutout on the year. He has kept the ball out of the net for the last 135 minutes and 23 seconds.
Sophomore Mangus Thorsson did not play in the win at UNCG on Wednesday, but is expected to return for tomorrow’s game. Cody Winter left the game Wednesday after getting whacked and his status to play is uncertain.
VMI enters the game with a 1-6-1 mark on the year and rallied for a 3-2 win at Liberty on Tuesday. It was a season-high in goals for the Keydets who scored two goals over the final 21 minutes of the match. The game-winning goal came on a hustle play from Alex Hartman as he positioned himself perfectly on a free kick. The Keydets were awarded a free kick from about 40 yards out and the ball was served into the box. A Liberty defender headed the ball straight up and Kyle Forche tried to bike the ball toward goal, but it went straight across the frame by several players and Hartman ran onto the cross and buried the shot first time.
Blake McCauley leads the team in scoring with two goals while Hartman, Forche, Aaron White and Wes Saupe each have one goal. VMI has scored seven goals in eight games while allowing 26.
Daniel Kitchen and Zach Kaplan have shared time in goal this season. Kitchen is 1-3-1 with a 2.91 goals against average in five starts and six appearances. Kaplan is 0-3-0 in three starts and four appearances with a 3.52 goals against average.
This will be just the second home game of the season for VMI as it tied New Jersey Institute of Technology 2-2 on Sept. 6.
This will be the ninth trip to Lexington, VA for the Eagles as they are 6-0-2 there all-time.