UNCW Press Release
WILMINGTON, North Carolina – First half goals from Mark Harris and Nathaniel Goodwin lifted #24 UNCW to a 3-1 win over Mercer in the final game of the Hilton Garden Inn Classic on Sunday at the UNCW Soccer Stadium.
The Seahawks rebounded from their first loss of the season on Friday to raise their record to 3-1. Mercer, meanwhile, dropped its third straight to open the season.
UNCW finished second in the tournament behind champion Elon, who blanked Presbyterian, 3-0, in the championship game earlier on Sunday.
Harris put the Seahawks in front, 1-0, in the 13th minute of the game with his first goal of the season. Harris opened the play with the ball on the left flank and found sophomore Colin Bonner open at the top of the penalty area with a pass. Bonner, who was under pressure, deftly slid a pass to Harris who made a run into the penalty area, took a touch and sent his shot inside the left post.
The Seahawks would again use a give-and-go play in the 40th minute for a 2-0 lead. Goodwin intercepted a failed clear by the Mercer defense, sent a pass to Jack Ward, who returned to pass to a streaking Goodwin. Goodwin slid his shot inside the far post on the right side.
Mercer narrowed its deficit to 2-1 on a goal from James Walters in the 71st minute. An unmarked Walters was on the finishing end of a corner kick from David Murtaugh as his header sailed past UNCW goalkeeper Sean Melvin.
The Seahawks put the game away in the 89th minute on Jamie Dell first goal of the season. Jose Garcia started the play with a pass to Bonner who sent Dell in one-on-one with the keeper for the goal and a 3-1 lead.
UNCW limited Mercer to six shots on the afternoon while holding a 9-6 advantage in the shot column.
Mercer's Greg Ranjitsingh and Melvin finished with three saves apiece.
UNCW returns to action with a road match at Elon on Sept. 14. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.
All-Tournament selections: Offensive MVP: Charles Howard (Elon); Defensive MVP: Mark Harris (UNCW); All-Tournament: Charles Howard (Elon), Miguel Salazar (Elon), Nathan Dean (Elon), Myles Mansfield (Elon), Mark Harris (UNCW), Jamie Dell (UNCW), Nathaniel Goodwin (UNCW), Tyler Beadle (Presby), Josh Carter (Presby), Brady O'Brien (Mercer), Ehjayson Henry (Mercer)