ROCK HILL, SC— Winthrop sent its seniors off with a victory in their last game on Eagles field as the team netted three second half goals for a 4-0 win over UNC Asheville, Wednesday evening in Big South Conference men’s soccer action.
The Eagles finish the regular season at 11-6-1 overall and 5-5 in the league while Asheville falls to 5-13 overall and 2-7 in the Big South. The Eagles will await for the conference schedule to end this weekend before finding out who they will face in the Big South Conference Championship next week.
Freshman Max Hasenstab only played 35 minutes as he had to leave the game in the first half, but finished with the game-winning goal when he hammered home a cross in the 31st minute. Senior Achille Obougou had the ball out wide and beat his defender to serve a bouncing cross near the penalty spot. Hasenstab ran on to the cross and struck the ball first time on a short hope into the net. It was his ninth goal of the season.
Winthrop nearly snagged a two goal lead before the half on a set piece. The Bulldogs were whistled for a foul about 40 yards out and as the countdown began, the Eagles rushed to deliver a ball in the box. The service went over the top of the defense and defender Jordi Lluch connected with it on his head. Lluch’s header at the top of the six yard box had the goalkeeper beat to the far side, but the ball pinged off the post and out away from goal with two seconds left.
Winthrop wasted no time for a 2-0 lead as Patrick Barnes scored three minutes and 34 seconds into the second half. Barnes received a pass out wide, made a move toward the middle of the field and then cut back on his left inside the box and fired a shot into the upper right corner of the goal.
Obougou made it 3-0 in the 65th minute when settled a corner kick by Barnes with his chest, made a couple of moves in the box to create some space between the defenders and then blasted a shot from about 15 yards away into the top part of the goal for his 10th of the season.
Junior Sean Comer netted the fourth goal as he was set free into open space behind the Bulldogs defense by freshman Jose Mencia and as he approached the top of the box he fired a low shot into the left corner of the frame.
One of the best chances for Asheville came in the 71st minute when a cross was delivered into the box as Kenny Lingerfelt made his run. The cross was a tad strong and Lingerfelt reached out to try and redirect the ball into the open net but got around it too much and the ball went back in front of goal as the Eagles cleared the ball away.
Freshman James Skonicki nearly made it 5-0 in the 84th minute when he made a run near post and struck a cross first time as the ball shot off the crossbar in the top right corner of the frame.
Junior Guilherme Avelar recorded one save to pick up his fourth shutout of the season and second straight. Avelar has not given up a goal in the last 210 minutes and 34 seconds and is now 9-6-1 on the year.
Zak Davis started in goal for the Bulldogs and played the first 45 minutes as he made six saves. Dan Jackson replaced him at the half and also ended up with six saves. Winthrop finished with a 28-8 advantage in shots.
Cole Schwietering nearly put the Bulldogs up early as his header from 10 yards straight on from goal in the 8th minute hit the crossbar and Winthrop was able to clear the ball away.
UNC Asheville remains on the road as it will end the regular season at Radford on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 2 p.m.