By Ethan Marsh, Reporter
WILMINGTON, NC - UNC-Wilmington had a lot going against them as they faced No. 5 ranked UNC-Charlotte Tuesday night at the Seahawk Soccer Stadium. Expected to be the underdog in the matchup, UNCW went out and beat one of the best teams there in Division I.
Junior forwards Julio Moncada and Stian Sandbekkhaug are players to watch as they have combined for 12 goals this season. These players are a factor in each game and were a factor tin this matchup scoring the second goal of the night to nail in the coffin versus UNC-Charlotte.
UNC-Charlotte had a lot to boast about as they went to play UNCW. They were nationally ranked at No. 5, one of three undefeated teams left in Division I. They beat their first four opponents by a margin of 14-0, and are a member of Conference USA. UNC-Wilmington had a tough team to go against Tuesday night in their fellow North Carolinian school system team and defied all the odds that were laid against them. UNCW’s best players had a wonderful performance to lay it out all on the field against Charlotte.
The Seahawks suffered their first loss away at Florida Gulf Coast Saturday by a final score of 5-0. This loss didn’t cripple their vision going into this game with UNC-Charlotte.
Within the first eight minutes of the beginning of the matchup, UNCW came close to scoring two times posing a real threat to UNC-Charlotte. UNCW broke through on a strike by freshman Philip Goodrum at 33:04 left in the first half and slid on the field as the team and the crowd cheered. This was the first time UNC-Charlotte allowed a goal this season.
A couple of physical scuffles occurred. The second one was sophomore Joel Bylander being slide tackled at 29:27 left in the first half and being upset about it. Even though UNC-Charlotte went scoreless on the final score this game, the team did have a few strong attempts throughout this one. Sophomore Goalie Ryan Cretens played a big role in this win as he defended a few strikes from UNC-Charlotte effectively - ones in the air and ones on the ground, a couple of them between 33 minutes and 18 minutes in the first half.
UNC-Charlotte would have had a score on the board late in the first half. However, this supposed score was negated as a penalty against UNCW Goalie Ryan Cretens was initiated. UNC-Charlotte roughed Cretens up and knocked him down to make it where they could score. This matchup was a feature of a defensive struggle and some rough play, UNCW was able to break through enough to make it a W.
The second goal came about five minutes left in the matchup, which was made by junior Forward Stian Sandbekkhaug and was assisted by junior Forward Julio Moncada. This was Sandbekkhaugs fifth goal of the season. Moncada and Sandbekkhaug are proving to be a dynamic duo for the Seahawks this season.
Both scores made in this matchup came with great celebration by the team and the crowd. This celebration was a recognition of the importance and significance of this win and how euphoric it was to beat such a successful team. As a goal had not been scored up until then on UNC-Charlotte this season.
This win improved the overall record on the season to 5-1 and home record to 3-0. The Men’s Soccer team at UNCW will play next against William & Mary at Seahawk Soccer Stadium Saturday, September 24th at 7pm to start the CAA conference schedule this season at home.