BOILING SPRINGS, NC— For the fifth straight season, Winthrop men’s soccer opened the season with a win after holding off Wofford College 1-0, Friday afternoon in the opening game of the Big South/SoCON Challenge held on the campus of Gardner-Webb University.
The Eagles, playing without their top returning scorer in sophomore Max Hasenstab, got a lift from junior Jordan Stoddart as he netted his first goal with Winthrop in the 49th minute. Senior Cody Winter played a ball over the top of the Wofford defense and Stoddart ran free toward the ball. Stoddart took a touch and then as Wofford goalkeeper Garrett Closs tried to close out and win the ball at the top of the 18-yard box, Stoddart slipped the ball by him and dribbled to within a couple of yards from the goal line before tapping the ball into the net.
Wofford felt that Stoddart was offside on the play but the assistant referee’s flag remained down and that fired up the Terriers as they applied a lot of pressure over the next 15-20 minutes. It started with a header by Connor Davis that was right of the post in the 55th minute and followed by Nestor Jaramillo with the ball in the box at an angle a minute later but Fabian Broich was up to the task and denied Jaramillo to keep the Eagles on top 1-0.
“I don’t think either team played particularly well and that was largely due to the heat and humidity,” said Winthrop head coach Rich Posipanko. “But I’m happy to have survived the game and get the win. It’s always nice to win the opener.”
Broich finished with four saves to earn his second shutout in seven appearances as an Eagle. Closs finished the game with three saves. Wofford finished with a 13-8 advantage in shots but the Eagles had the edge in corners at 7-4.
The victory is the fourth straight over Wofford as the Eagles improve to 23-7-2 all-time in the series. All four of the wins have been by a goal.
Winthrop will be back in action on Sunday at 1 p.m. when it faces Georgia Southern on the final day of the Big South/SoCON Challenge.