UNC Pembroke pressure bothers MOC in men's soccer
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 31, 2012 1:48 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- In-state rival UNC Pembroke did everything Mount Olive expected Thursday evening.
The Trojans still couldn't avoid the Braves' ambush.
Senior midfielder Sean Hoek collected two goals as UNCP secured a 3-0 victory at Amon Field. It was the season opener for both teams.
"They are a very fast-paced attacking team, have great forwards and make exceptional runs," second-year MOC head coach Godfrey Miller said. "They have a very experienced group."
The Braves, who lead the all-time series 18-5-1, exposed the Trojans' inexperienced defense with relentless ball pressure during the first 10 minutes of the contest. Mount Olive, which started two freshmen on the backline, struggled to organize and prevent UNCP from putting shots on frame.
Defensive mistakes proved critical.
Junior Martin Tomter provided the eventual game-winning goal in the eighth minute. The Norwegian native ripped a low shot that bounced inside the back post after the Trojans failed to clear a ball inside the 18-yard box.
Twenty-four minutes later, Tomter sent a ball into the box and Hoek headed it into the goal off of MOC freshman goalie Nick Bernsdorf.
"We definitely broke down on those first two goals defensively," Miller said. "We made some changes to see if we could get some balance back there, but we just couldn't hold them off. We're still looking for pieces back there defensively."
MOC settled down, looked for the simple pass and developed an offensive rhythm midway through the opening half. The connection of passes enabled the Trojans to create a pair of scoring chances.
But they couldn't maintain that consistency and lost considerable midfield movement when injuries forced Miller to move players around in the second half.
Hoek capped the scoring in the 57th minute.
UNCP finished with a 12-7 edge in shots. Bernsdorf logged three saves for the Trojans, who lost their third consecutive season-opening game.
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