WILMINGTON, North Carolina – Led by two goals from freshman midfielder Ben Fisher (Chapel Hill H.S./Chapel Hill, N.C.), the UNCW men’s soccer team surged out to a 3-0 lead in the first half and never looked back en route to a 5-0 victory over South Carolina at the UNCW Soccer Stadium on Saturday evening.
Playing in front of a crowd of 1,227 fans, which included nearly 50 former UNCW players and Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, the Seahawks earned their fourth consecutive victory and improved to 4-0-1 on the season. The Gamecocks, who were playing on the road for just the second time this season, dropped their record to 2-2-1.
After netting the first goal of the game less than two minutes into the first half, Fisher added his second marker with 32 minutes remaining in the opening stanza when he hit a 20-yard blast after a South Carolina defender tried to clear a corner kick by the Seahawks.
Senior forward Colin Bonner (Reservoir H.S./Fulton, Md.) upped the advantage to 3-0 with 3:53 left in the first half when he headed in a corner kick by senior midfielder Jose Garcia (Woodward Academy/College Park, Ga.) for his fifth goal of the season.
Just under six minutes into the second half, senior forward Nathaniel Goodwin (W.A. Hough H.S./Huntersville, N.C.) took a crossing pass from Bonner and tallied his third goal of the season for a 4-0 UNCW lead.
Freshman midfielder Shane Mecham (Blacksburg H.S./Blacksburg, Va.) completed the scoring in the 66th minute when he took a pass from senior forward Daniel Escobar (Cali, Colombia) and scored the first goal of his college career.
Junior Sean Melvin (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada) and senior Sam Williams (Fayetteville Academy/Clinton, N.C.) combined to make three saves as UNCW outshot South Carolina by an 11-5 margin.
#SeahawkStats: UNCW has defeated South Carolina in back-to-back meetings after losing four in a row in the series … The Gamecocks still hold a 7-3-1 advantage in the all-time series … The five goals scored by UNCW are the most by either team in the series … South Carolina had its winless streak extended to three straight games after opening the season with wins over Mercer and Georgia … UNCW is now 7-0-1 in its last eight regular season matches, dating back to last season … The Seahawks are also 8-3-1 at home in their last 12 matches going back to last year and have a six-game unbeaten streak (5-0-1) at UNCW Soccer Stadium … After being held without a goal in the season opener against High Point, UNCW has outscored its opponents by an 18-4 margin in the last four contests … Bonner has tallied a point in four consecutive matches and has already surpassed his scoring output from last year when he had four goals with four assists … The Seahawks have won 15 consecutive matches when scoring at least two goals dating back to the 2013 season … UNCW is off to its best start since the 2004 campaign when the Seahawks opened the year with six straight victories … Coach Aidan Heaney collected his 128th victory at UNCW, moving within one win of tying the school record held by Calvin Lane … UNCW held South Carolina to a season-low five shots.
What’s Ahead for the Seahawks: UNCW opens a two-game road trip on Tuesday, Sept. 15 by traveling to Duke for a 7 p.m. non-conference match against the Blue Devils.
Men’s College Soccer: UNCW 5, South Carolina 0
South Carolina 0 0 - 0
UNCW 3 2 - 5
Goals: SC – n/a; UNCW – Ben Fisher 2 (1:34, 13:00), Colin Bonner (41:07), Nathaniel Goodwin (50:36), Shane Mecham (65:14). Assists: SC – n/a; UNCW – Colin Bonner 2, Jose Garcia 1, Daniel Escobar 1. Saves: SC – Marco Velez 1 (56:16, 4 goals allowed), William Pyle 2 (33:44, 1 goals allowed); UNCW – Sean Melvin 2 (67:10, 0 goals allowed), Sam Williams 1 (22:50, 0 goals allowed). Shots: SC – 5; UNCW – 11. Corner Kicks: SC – 4; UNCW – 7. Attendance: 1,227.