JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman men's soccer team opened the 2015 season with a 3-1 win over the No. 21 University of Alabama-Huntsville Saturday night at McCown Field.
The Eagles picked up its first win over a ranked opponent since a 3-2 win in the 2013 NCAA Tournament semifinals against Simon Fraser.
"Unbelievable performance from all of them today. Just as a unit we looked so good defensively. True test of character, but we did our homework. A lot of credit to the coaching staff, Davey Campbell. We know what we were anticipating tonight," coach Richard Moodie said. "We knew how to prepare for the game and we did our homework. We game them the plan and they executed way better than what we anticipated."
Junior Poly Avgousti (Paphos, Cyrpus) tallied the Eagles' first goal in the 4th minute with a olimpico goal. Avgousti curled a corner kick towards the back post and beat UAH keeper Michael Winstone and gave C-N a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Thibault Mathorez (Graces, France) scored in his Carson-Newman debut to extend the Eagles' lead to 2-0 in the 34th-minute. Senior James Ward (Trine Cornwell, England) sent a long ball from the near the edge of the 18-yard box that bounced and rolled to Mathorez's feet in the attacking 18-yard box and Mathorez beat Winstone.
After the break, Huntsville struck back with a brilliant free kick goal from Leo De Smedt. De Smedt lined up his free kick at the edge of the 18-yard box and lifted the ball over the wall and beat goalkeeper Kavi Luchowa (London, England) to the right to cut the Carson-Newman lead to 2-1.
In the 90th minute, Carson-Newman senior midfielder Lucas Siqueira (Sao Paulo, Brazil) took a ball down the pitch towards the Chargers' corner flag. Instead of killing time, the Brazilian made a run down the end line, beat Winstone and capped the scoring at 3-1. Siqueira's goal was his ninth of the career.
The Eagles recorded their first win over Alabama-Huntsville since 1994 and ended a four-game losing streak to the Chargers. C-N is now 5-6 in season-opening games played at McCown Field.
Luchowa contributed two saves in the winning effort.
Carson-Newman outshot UAH 13-9 and tallied eight shots in the second half. Avgousti led the team with four shots, while senior Rurik Pereira (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) blasted three shots at the frame.
"We shot them. We out worked them. We outplayed them. It felt good, too. That was a team that got after us last year, 5-1. And they were a fantastic team."
The Eagles hit the road for the first time in 2015 on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. match-up with the Belmont Abbey Crusad