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Mt. Olive tops Chowan

MURFREESBORO – They made a good impression, but it wasn’t enough.

Mt. Olive College scored two early second half goals to break open a tight match and went on to post a 4-0 soccer victory over Chowan University Tuesday, spoiling the Hawks’ home opener.

The loss left the Hawks (0-3) winless on the young season.

“We had the possessions in the first half,” said second-year coach Matt Phelps, “but we let down for a few minutes there in the beginning of the second half and that killed the momentum. It killed our game for us.”

Chowan had just five shots for the entire match, dwarfed by the 24 kicks of the Trojans.

The good news for Chowan was that only four or those shots managed to tickle the twine and senior goal-keeper Scott Cullen turned away many of those with six saves.

On the other side, of the five shots Chowan took, only the one by senior Isidro Lopez and the other by junior teammate, Brandon Chambers, were on goal.

“We’ve just got to believe that we can do it,” added Phelps.  “We’ve got the talent to do it, we’ve just got to believe and have patience.

“You’re not going to score 10 goals a game;” he said,  “but you keep at it and you keep at it and you’re going to get one, two, or three (to go in).”

The match was scoreless for the first 36 minutes on the pitch and pretty much evenly played.

Chowan got their first attempt when sophomore forward Kenny Moore had a chance that was high and just right of the post.  Twenty-six minutes later his next attempt sailed just over the cross-bar.

Three minutes after that, Mt. Olive got the scoring started when the Trojans’ Kirk Peterson took a crossing pass from a teammate and scooted one through on the right side just past the outstretched arms of Cullen and a 1-0 lead.

The Hawks had to be encouraged by their first half effort, particularly on defense with Cullen’s trio of saves.

But the Trojans didn’t take long to score in the opening minutes of the second frame.

Mt. Olive got a breakaway that bounced off the diving Cullen; but the ball took a friendly bounce for the visitors and the second effort sailed over the keeper’s hands.

Less than two-and-a-half minutes later, Cullen looked to have turned away another shot but Mt. Olive’s Vieux Starr was there to collect the rebound and his header made it 3-0.  The Trojans (1-1-1) later got an unassisted goal as time was winding down.

“We kinda just went through the motions in the first half,” shrugged Trojans coach Jerry Riggs, “and I just challenged them at halftime.”

“Like them (Chowan), “he added,  “we’re still trying to find our identity.”

“These are quality teams we’re playing.” said Phelps.  “But there’re some wins out there to be had and we’re going to keep growing and we’re going to get ’em.”

Chowan is off until they face Newberry on Monday in a 4:00 contest.

(By Gene Motley, Sports Writer)