Sophomore Philip van Berkom/Zetten, from the Netherlands recorded his first goal of the season along with his first career assist to propel the Longwood University men’s soccer to a 3-1 victory against Big South Conference opponent UNC Asheville (3-7-0, 0-2-0) on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics Complex in Farmville.
FARMVILLE, Va. – Sophomore Philip van Berkom/Zetten, the Netherlands recorded his first goal of the season along with his first career assist to propel the Longwood University men’s soccer to a 3-1 victory against Big South Conference opponent UNC Asheville (3-7-0, 0-2-0) on Saturday afternoon at the Athletics Complex in Farmville. Freshman Ben Ferrell/Fairfax Station scored once to add to the offensive effort, while sophomore Lee Martin/Gambrills, Maryland notched his first career points with a goal, as well. Freshman goalkeeper Carlos Canas/Manassas registered his first career win in front of the net for the Lancers with three saves in the outing. Longwood (2-4-3, 1-0-1) will travel to league and in-state foe Radford University on Wednesday, October 9 for a match beginning at 7 p.m.
"We can enjoy the win and take comfort that three points are in the bag, but it wasn’t easy, and give credit to Asheville, because they pushed us all the way," said head coachJon Atkinson. "Going a goal down is never a good idea, but I applaud our guys at the way they bounced back, showing initiative to go in with a lead at the half. I felt we should have killed the game off in the second half, but with a combination of poor finishing and decisions, we only had Lee Martin’s goal to provide us some padding, but the important thing is that we got the win and can use this as a building block for our next game."
The Lancers outshot the Bulldogs, 18-9, in the contest, including an 8-4 edge in shots on goal. Longwood also took a 7-1 advantage in corner kicks. Freshman Vaughn Fowler/Chester logged his first career point with an assist on the day, while junior Jonathan Kukapa/Leesburg added an assist of his own.
Longwood controlled the pace of play early in the outing, keeping the ball in their offensive zone. Kukapa tallied the first shot of the day with a turn-around attempt that dribbled wide. Asheville’s Emil Gonsalvez retaliated, getting a piece of the ball in a scramble in front of net, but his shot went left. Longwood followed with a long possession that was highlighted by several strong passes and capped off by a pair of shots from sophomores Zach Crandall/Lorton and Sam Yardley/Fairfax Station. Asheville, however, struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute of play, as the Bulldogs had a two-on-one opportunity against Canas before Quentin Reynolds passed to Bobby Castro for the shot on goal. The lead would stand for just less than three minutes when a short pass from Kukapa set up van Berkom, who fired a high shot that found upper right corner of net to knot score at 1-1 in the 19th minute.
"I never score goals actually, but today we played a little bit more offensively than usual ," said van Berkom. Kukapa just laid the ball perfectly for me and I just went in for it hard. It was an important goal because we were one goal behind, so we had to score to get back in the game. I think conference play gives us extra motivation. We had to win this one and we did, so I’m really proud of the boys."