|August 27, 2021||1st||2nd||Final|
East Tennessee State
|ETSU||83:26||Tarik Pannholzer (Carlos Portas , Jack Perry)|
|Stats at a Glance||ETSU||LWU|
|Shots (on Goal)||10 (3)||17 (5)|
FARMVILLE, Va. (Aug. 27, 2021) – A gritty performance awaited the ETSU men’s soccer team on Friday evening, grabbing a late winner in a 1-0 victory over Longwood on the road to open their 2021 campaign.
Up against a historically unfavorable stat line in season openers since the debut of the program in 2008, the Bucs are now 4-9-1 in their first away match of a campaign. The win was the first time in program history that the Bucs earned a victory when the road opener proved to also be the first match of the season, previously 0-7-1.
Taking nine games to get off the mark in his freshman campaign, Tarik Pannholzer (Flensburg, Germany) wasted no time to grab his first of his sophomore season. A menace to the Longwood defense all evening, the German collected a through ball from Carlos Portas (Barcelona, Spain) and made no mistake as he curled the ball into the far bottom corner with just over six minutes left in the game.
Josh Perryman (Sheffield, England) grabbed his 20th win of his career in the Blue and Gold, becoming only the third member of the club. His 13th shutout puts him 10 back of 2nd all time in program history. The Englishman made two saves throughout the night.
Jacob Reimers played the full 90 in goal for the Lancers, proving effective in stopping the Bucs early in the contest. With two saves on the night, the Longwood shot stopper was left helpless on the only goal he conceded.
With minimal action in the opening 10 minutes on either attacking end, Ethan Strati (Boca Raton, Fla.) defended well in the first real chance of the game. The Lancers spread the play wide with an opportunity for a first time shot in the box but the freshman answered the call while sprawling out to deflect the attempt out for a corner.
The Buccaneers grabbed their opening effort on goal just after the 15 minute mark, Rayhan Carlson-Du Toit (Auckland, New Zealand) racing on goal before narrowly placing his left footed attempt wide of the mark. The Bucs soon after thought they got their season off the mark as Dailyn Crawley (Dallas, Texas) wrapped his left foot around a Pannholzer cross and found the netting. However, the linesman on the near side of the field had his flag raised, Crawley judged a fraction offside before making his break toward the ball.
Portas almost collected a goal on his Buccaneer debut, the sophomore getting on the end of a cutting through ball before lashing a shot at the keeper, who matched the effort with a clean save. On the other end, Justin Wilson almost got the crowd going as the Lancer forward cut into the inside of the field on his right foot, curling an effort past Perryman but over the crossbar to harmlessly reset the Buccaneer attack with under 15 minutes left in the half.
In one of the best chances of the half, the Bucs failed to capitalize off a set piece. Dominic Foster (London, England) did well to put an initial cross back into the path of onrushing attackers, finding center back partner Josh Hancock (Torbay, England) who blazed his effort over the goal as the Lancer defense breathed a sigh of relief.
The Bucs fought off a barrage of opportunities off set pieces early in the second half, including a big save from Hancock off the line as the defender held to his duty on a Longwood corner kick. Just after the 60th minute, Foster was called upon to clear a ball off the line before a Longwood attacker mishit the follow up effort just wide of the post, ETSU finding itself pinned in its own half in the opening 20 minutes of the second frame.
The Bucs finally were able to escape the pressure, a near chance with just over 15 minutes remaining formulating through Michael Clow (Leola, Pa.). The transfer made a darting run and was slipped in behind the defense before lifting his shot over the keeper but onto the roof of the goal.
With end-to-end action in the contest, Longwood would soon race on a counter of their own where for the third time, an outfield player would clear a shot attempt off the line. Jack Perry (Kingsport, Tenn.) used his fresh legs after coming on moments prior, helping to break up the play with a scramble out of his own goal line.
The Bucs finally made the breakthrough with nearly six minutes remaining on the clock. Perry filtered back into the attack, delivering a pass into Portas. The Spaniard played a clever volley over the top onto the head of Pannholzer, who headed it into his path. Left one-on-one against the Longwood goalkeeper, the sophomore made no mistake to curl it into the bottom right corner. ETSU held tight, as a bend-don’t-break defensive effort saw the Bucs out with a win on the road in a shutout fashion.
The Bucs were outshot 17-10 on the evening, a 13-5 Longwood discrepancy coming in the second half. Despite the edge, the Lancers were only able to hold a 5-3 advantage in shots on target throughout the match, ETSU proving more clinical with the lone goal of the contest.
ETSU took the series advantage, the two sides meeting for the first time on Friday night. The victory also marked Head Coach David Casper’s first season-opening win.
Dating back to last season, the Blue and Gold have now posted four clean sheets in the last five games. It also marks only the second time in program history the Bucs kept a shutout on the season-opener. ETSU defeated Presbyterian 3-0 inside Summers-Taylor in 2011.
Pannholzer led the team with two shots, both registered on goal. Portas recorded the only other shot on target.
Four different Buccaneers recorded a save in the contest. Hancock, Foster and Perry all had goal line clearances off the line in addition to Perryman’s two saves.
The Blue and Gold make their home debut next Saturday, hosting Radford inside Summers-Taylor in a 7 p.m. kick.