Men’s soccer shut out in season opener against Belmont Abbey
By Ryan Kelly
Assistant Sports Editor
UNCP had a 21-6 shooting edge but couldn't convert their chances as they fell in their 2007 home opener in front of 300 spectators at the Braves new field, Varsity Grounds, on Aug. 24.
A 61st minute strike from Luis Arrieta was all that was needed for the Crusaders (2-0) to take their first win of the season. UNCP (0-2) falls to 11-5 in season openers.
“This was a very tough loss,” said UNCP Head Coach Mike Schaeffer.
UNCP dominated possession the entire game but it was the Crusaders who would make the most of their opportunities.
In the second half, Arrieta dribbled past a defender on the right side during a counter-attack and struck the ball from the top of the box. The shot skimmed off Dean Moore's fingers and into the roof of the net.
Senior Thomas Morrow led the Braves with six shots, including two which hit the post. Another chance nearly found its way into goal late in the game but was cleared off the line by a defender.
“We controlled the play in the first half but we just didn’t have enough bite to get over the top” said Schaeffer.
Belmont Abbey keeper Bryan Alenky's strong play earned him the shutout as he recorded eight saves on the night.
With the exception of the Arrieta goal the Braves defense played well, particularly Preseason All-Conference Defender Steven Locker, who nearly had a goal off a corner kick in the 28th minute.
However, his soft header found its way directly into Alenky's hands.
The Braves aim to pick up their first win of the season on Aug. 31 when they travel to Pheiffer University to take on the Falcons.