The Oglethorpe men's soccer team completed a sweep of their games at Emory's Sonny Carter Invitational this weekend, routing North Carolina Wesleyan 4-1 Saturday afternoon at the Woodruff PE Center. It marked the first time the Stormy Petrels had swept their contests at the highly competitive Labor Day weekend event since 2012.
The Petrels scored all four of their goals in a 25-minute span bridging halftime. They got the scoring started 38 minutes into the game, when sophomore forward Hudson Fennell received a pass from junior midfielder Topher Marshall and knocked it home. They then doubled their advantage in the 42nd minute when sophomore forward Bentley Skinner took advantage of a North Carolina Wesleyan goalkeeping error. He intercepted a pass from Battling Bishops' goalkeeper Alex Magner and finished it into the empty net, giving Oglethorpe a 2-0 advantage at halftime.
Oglethorpe continued to pour it on in the second half. They went ahead by three goals when junior midfielder Ryan Marcano buried a penalty kick in the 55th minute. The Petrels then added a fourth off a corner kick in the 63rd minute. Sophomore midfielder Andrew Grodhaus took the corner and had it knocked down in the box by sophomore forward Gabriel Alvarez. Senior defender Stefan Williams ran onto the loose ball and knocked it home, giving the Petrels a commanding 4-0 advantage. The Bishops got a goal back in the 72nd minute, but it was too late for them to work their way back into the game at that point.
The Petrels dominated play from the outset, outshooting North Carolina Wesleyan 17-9 overall and 10-4 on goal. In addition, they took all nine corner kicks to none for the Bishops. Marcano fired a team-high three shots and put two on goal. Fennell put both of his shots on target.
Senior goalkeeper Luke Whelan recorded three saves en route to his second victory of the season.
Oglethorpe saw four players make the Sonny Carter All-Invitational Team, with sophomore defender Christian Waegelin joining Marcano, Alvarez and Marshall in receiving the honor.
"I thought we continued the momentum we started to gain late in Friday night's game, where we came back from a two-goal deficit to win," said Oglethorpe head coach Jon Akin. "I think we came out firing on all cylinders today. North Carolina Wesleyan is a very good team, but we played some outstanding soccer. It's been a successful first weekend for us, and we'll look to continue that next weekend when we go on the road to Maryland for two more tough games."
The Petrels will head to the Seahawk Classic in St. Mary's City next Saturday and Sunday. They'll begin by taking on host St. Mary's at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, then will take on national power Salisbury at the same time the following day. After that, the Petrels will return home for three straight, including their home opener against Truett McConnell on Wednesday, Sept. 13.