The Oglethorpe men's soccer team got their neutral-site contest with Roanoke off to an excellent start Tuesday night and rode that to a 3-1 victory over the Maroons in a game played at the CSA OrthoCarolina Sportsplex in Pineville, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, a venue that sits roughly equidistant from the two campuses. The victory improved the Stormy Petrels to 5-2-1 on the season as they get ready to head back into conference play over the weekend.
The game couldn't have started much better for the Petrels, as they took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute of the contest. Junior midfielder Topher Marshall collected a pass from senior forward Devon Patterson on the left side of goal and buried his shot in the back of the net to give his team the early advantage.
It was an advantage the Petrels would continue to press, as they outshot Roanoke 7-3 over the course of the opening 45 minutes. The pressure paid off in the 35th minute, as junior midfielder Ryan Marcano took a pass from senior defender Stefan Williams and finished from the left side of goal to give the Petrels a 2-0 lead.
Though Roanoke enjoyed more chances in the second half, Oglethorpe continued creating their own, as well. It would be the Petrels to strike first, all but putting the game away in the 70th minute. Patterson found himself in alone on goal and fired a shot that the Maroon goalkeeper Nick Tadros got a fingertip to, but couldn't redirect away from goal.
Oglethorpe's 3-0 lead was short-lived, as Roanoke gave themselves a chance with a marker in the 72nd minute. That was all they would get, however, and the Petrels cruised to the 3-1 victory from there.
Oglethorpe still outshot Roanoke 6-5 in the second half, and won the shot battle 13-8 overall. That included a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal. Senior goalkeeper Robert Goldin got the start and picked up his first win of the season, recording three saves in the process. Patterson continued to play well after his spectacular game-tying goal on Friday, firing three shots and putting all three on target, including the second-half goal, while also recording an assist. Marcano fired three shots and put a couple on target, including his goal in the 35th minute.
"I liked the way we came out of the gates tonight," said Oglethorpe head coach Jon Akin. "After a couple games where we didn't finish as many chances as we'd like, jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the first half was big. I thought we played well in the second half, too, and did a good job of seeing the game out with a big lead. We're happy to get this result, and we'll now go on the road in-conference for the first time this season against Sewanee on Friday."
The Petrels will travel to Tennessee on Friday, where they'll take on SAA foe Sewanee at 8 p.m. Eastern. They'll return home after that for a non-conference tilt against Washington (Missouri) at noon on Monday before re-entering SAA play the following weekend.