Men's Soccer downs Gardner-Webb for first Big South triumph

Travis Golden
(photo by Bennett Scarborough)
Travis Golden (photo by Bennett Scarborough)

BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Campbell defeated Gardner-Webb 3-1 in Big South Conference men's soccer action Saturday night at the Eakes Athletic Complex.

Jonathan Ray set up two goals as Campbell (4-5-1, 1-1-0) ended a five-match losing streak and claimed its first Big South Conference regular season triumph since Oct. 27, 1993.

Campbell was a charter member of the Big South from 1983-94 before joining the Atlantic Sun Conference.  After a 17-year tenure in the A-Sun, Campbell re-joined the Big South on July 1, 2011.

Ricki Gaez, Justin Franz and Travis Golden scored for the Camels, who led 3-0 after 52 minutes and finished with a 12-4 edge in shots on goal.

Gardner-Webb (3-6-2, 0-2-0) dropped its fourth-straight outing.

The Camels jumped in front in the ninth minute of play when Ray's pass split the Gardner-Webb back four.  Gaez ran on to the feed, touched the ball wide of charging GWU keeper Scott Krotee, and slotted it home for his first career goal.

The Bulldogs' best chance to equalize in the opening period came in the 32nd minute when a clearance fell to Denzel Clarke near half-field.  The freshman from Jamaica cut back at the top of the box, but his left-footed effort sailed wide of the right post.

Franz' 38th minute free kick dropped in the box, forcing consecutive point-blank saves by Krotee on shots from Golden and Ben Iiames

One minute later, Krotee had to stretch to save Jhuvon Francis' shot and Bryce Miller's attempt on the rebound caromed off the right post.

Franz doubled Campbell's lead with just 2:02 remaining in the opening half on a 35-yard blast that found the upper right corner.

Campbell finished the opening half with a 12-4 advantage in shots, 7-1 in attempts on target.

In the 50th minute, GWU nearly cut the margin in half when John Sargent's left-footed attempt from just outside the box stayed wide of the left post.

The lead reached three when Golden nodded home Ray's corner kick in the 52nd minute.

Gardner-Webb avoided the shutout when Chris Davis collected a failed clearance near the top of the box and scored his third goal of the season in the 71st minute.

Campbell nearly added another goal in the final minutes.  Three times Jonah Powers-Myszka broke into the box, but Krotee made stops each time.

Ryan Amons finished with three saves in the Camel nets.  Krotee had nine for the Bulldogs.  Campbell out-shot the visitors on the night by an 18-13 margin.

The Camels conclude their three-game home stand Tuesday in a 7:00 p.m. kick-off against North Carolina State.