The Oglethorpe men's soccer team drew its regular season to a close Sunday night in Lawrenceville, Georgia, with a 3-0 loss at NAIA squad Georgia Gwinnett. The defeat dropped the Stormy Petrels to 6-5-3 headed into the SAA playoffs next weekend.
The Petrels rested many of their starters for this one, which came on the heels of a 108-minute overtime thriller Saturday against Berry. They gave up the opening goal in the 10th minute but held on from there and were only behind 1-0 at halftime.
The second period saw the homestanding Grizzlies score twice to secure the victory, though. They took a 2-0 lead in the 51st minute and put the match away with their third tally in the 76th.
The Petrels fired seven shots on the evening and were outshot 12-7, playing the match closer from the run-of-play than the final 3-0 scoreline would indicate. The Grizzlies put seven shots on goal to the Petrels' two. Both teams took three corner kicks on the night.
Oglethorpe junior goalkeeper Robert Goldin made four saves on the evening. Sophomore forward Jose Perez fired two shots for the Petrels, while sophomore midfielder Gabriel Vicente fired a pair and put one on target. Junior defender Stefan Williams fired a shot, putting it on target, as well.
"It was good to get some of the guys who normally come off our bench some serious minutes tonight," said Oglethorpe head coach Jon Akin. "I thought we played them much closer than the scoreline would indicate. Georgia Gwinnett is a good team, as they're in the NAIA top 25 conversation. We'll move forward and get ready to host our SAA first round matchup against Hendrix on Saturday. We look forward to playing for the conference title in front of our fans!"
The Petrels have home-field advantage throughout the SAA playoffs, as they hold the No. 1 seed for the tournament. They'll host No. 8 seed Hendrix in the tournament's opening round Saturday at noon from the Oglethorpe Track and Field. Should they emerge victorious from that, the Petrels will host the semifinal and final rounds of the SAA Championship the following weekend.