The University of Charleston’s men’s soccer team rolled into the next round of the NCAA Division II tournament with its win on Sunday.
The No. 2-seeded Golden Eagles rattled off three first-half goals while staving off No. 7 American International for a 4-0 win at Welch Athletic Complex in the second round of the Super 1 Regional.
“We played really well,” UC coach Daniel Smee said. “I was a little concerned after watching American International on Friday because I thought they did pretty well. They looked really good. We hadn’t played in seven days but we did a great job.”
Alexis Ledoux, Sebastian Pavez, Adrian Camacho and Alejandro Larrayoz were the goal scorers for the Golden Eagles. Ledoux, Emil Rasmussen and Ploutarchos Alonefti each tallied an assist.
UC also played stellar defense and controlled possession for most of the game and kept the Yellow Jackets from scoring for its eighth clean sheet of the season. The Golden Eagles outshot the Yellow Jackets 17-6 and just three Yellow Jacket shots were on goal.
“Clean sheets have been tough to come by this year, we’ve given up a lot of silly goals,” Smee said. “It’s something we’ve talked about in the last few weeks. To get [a shutout] is a testament to our defenders and the goalkeeper but definitely the whole team as well.”
UC goalkeeper Mike Torrado had three saves in his fourth shutout of the season.
UC started the match well in control of possession and threatened with a couple early shots but didn’t get anything going until midway through the first half, when Ledoux scored a goal in the lower left side of the net in the 27th minute.
Later in the 27th minute, UC struck again as Pavez scored to put the Golden Eagles up 2-0. UC went up 3-0 in the 34th minute as Camacho scored, assisted by Alonefti. UC had a 3-0 lead going into halftime.
“I thought we started the game really well,” Smee said. “About 15-20 minutes in we were just sitting over there as coaches saying ‘As soon as we get the first goal, it could open the flood gates a little bit.”
In the second half, the Yellow Jackets showed fatigue while UC controlled the ball and had multiple chances but did not score for most of the half until Larrayoz sealed the win the UC’s fourth and final goal in the 86th minute.
The Golden Eagles move on to the third round of the tournament to face Mountain East Conference foe Davis & Elkins. No. 6 Davis & Elkins defeated Wilmington 4-2 in its second- round game on Saturday to advance to the third round.
UC and Davis & Elkins have met three times this season and have a record of 1-1-1 against each other. The most recent match was in the MEC title game on Nov. 14 where UC won 4-1.
“We know them very well, they’re going to know us very well,” Smee said. “We’re looking forward to it. Hopefully it will be [at UC]. I know [No. 1 seed] Franklin Pierce won yesterday but I’m not sure they’ve put a bid in to host. There’s no way of knowing that. But I’m 99% sure we’re going to Franklin Pierce.”
The third-round Super Region 1 match will take place on either Dec. 2 or 3.