The Oglethorpe men's soccer team got its SAA tournament run off to an excellent start Saturday at the Oglethorpe Track and Field in the event's opening round. The top-seeded Stormy Petrels defeated No. 8 seed Hendrix 3-0 to advance to the semifinals on Friday and ensure that they'll host the final two rounds of the SAA Men's Soccer Championship. The win improved them to 12-2 on the season.
The Petrels dominated the run of play from the first minute Saturday afternoon, attacking the Hendrix goal with wave after wave and barely allowing the Warriors out of their own end of the field. They outshot Hendrix 22-0 and took 10 corner kicks to the visitors' one over the course of the first half.
The pressure paid off in the 16th minute, as senior midfielder Topher Marshall played a perfect ball into the box on one of those corner kicks and found senior midfielder Jon Guy on the back post. Guy calmly headed it past Hendrix goalkeeper Josh Neuman to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Junior midfielder Josh Bronstorph nearly doubled the Oglethorpe lead twice, as he had a shot saved acrobatically by Neuman in the 20th minute and beat him with another in the 21st only to watch it ricochet off the crossbar. He eventually did double the lead, though, as a Hendrix defender brought down freshman midfielder Angel Guevara in the box in the 32nd minute. Bronstorph stepped to the penalty spot and knocked his shot past Neuman to give the Petrels a 2-0 advantage.
The Petrels could have pushed their lead out even further late in the period, but Neuman made a series of outstanding saves to keep the score at 2-0 after 45 minutes.
Oglethorpe quickly put the game away after the restart, though. Marshall dribbled into the box and fired a shot past the Hendrix keeper to make the score 3-0 in the 46th minute. From there, the Petrels cruised to victory, getting play for much of their bench over the course of the final 45 minutes.
For the game, the home side outshot Hendrix 38-1 overall and 12-1 on goal. They also took 14 corner kicks to one for Hendrix.
Junior goalkeeper Scott Zoino secured his seventh shutout of the season on Saturday, tallying a save in the latter portion of the second half.
The Petrels will host No. 5 seed Berry on Friday in the semifinal round of the SAA tournament. That game will take place at approximately 7 p.m. on the Oglethorpe Track and Field and will immediately follow the other semifinal between third-seeded Centre and seventh-seeded Millsaps.