Friday, April 1, 2011

Wildcats open up Spring 2011 season with win over Eagles

By Thomas Zimmerman

The Davidson Men’s Soccer team began their Spring 2011 season with a much-anticipated match against USL PRO league team Charlotte Eagles on March 16. Davidson has strong ties with the Eagles as Coach/Recruiting Director Kevin O’Brien used to play for the team. Also, current assistant coaches Greg Dalby (player) and Ryan Souders (goalkeeper coach) are both members of the USL PRO club. The Wildcats and Eagles match up every spring in preparation for their upcoming seasons.

Sophomore midfielder Brian McGue put the Wildcats ahead in the 25th minute with a first-time shot that curled into the top left corner. The Eagles responded with a few chances but the boys stayed organized enough to keep the USL team at bay. For the second consecutive year the Wildcats owned a halftime lead over the Eagles.

The boys pushed on in the second half extending the lead to 2-0 on a corner kick from Peter Paras. Junior defender and captain Greg Macnamara got to the ball first and flicked on the short corner towards goal. The ball just barely crossed the goal line before an Eagles defender was able to clear it, but it went just far enough to put the Wildcats further ahead.

A late Charlotte Eagles goal caused for a tense final 10 minutes, but the boy’s fitness prevailed and the Wildcats held on for a 2-1 victory. This marks the first time Davidson has ever beaten the Eagles during Head Coach Matt Spear’s tenure. What a great way to kickoff the Spring 2011 season.

Starting 11
Chip Sanders
D Hunter Hayes Greg Macnamara Coleman O'Neill Dennis Shannon
MF Garrett Bostwick Alex Givens Brian McGue Peter Paras
F Thomas Zimmerman Jake Keator

Contributing Substitutes
Andrew DiLallo, Chris Pettiglio, Nick Grube. 

Coach Kevin O’Brien’s thoughts about the game against his former team:
“It was a great display of collective defending and commitment to our tactical game plan…We frustrated a group of experienced and mature professionals by playing as a team and out working them in all honesty. There was not a player in our squad that held anything back…each guy exhausted himself for the greater good of the team. It was awesome to watch and an approach I hope we continue to emulate!”

Super Frosh
Freshman defender Coleman “The Hatchet Man” O’Neill got his first college career start for the Wildcats. He played all 90 minutes at center back and threw in several solid tackles throughout. Congrats to the young gun.

Goals (Assists)
· 25’ Brian McGue (Jake Keator)
· 60’ Greg Macnamara (Peter Paras)


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