BUIES CREEK, N.C. – Mitchell Cardenas scored twice, including what proved to be the winner with 10:04 remaining, and Campbell defeated VMI 3-2 in Big South Conference men's soccer action Saturday evening at the Eakes Athletic Complex.
Cardenas' double was his second in as many games this week and lifted the Camels (9-6-2, 5-2-0) to their fourth-straight victory. Jhuvon Francis added his fourth goal of the year – and extended his scoring string to three games – for Campbell, which is unbeaten (4-0-1) in its last five.
Kip Zechman scored both goals for VMI (1-14-2, 1-6-1), which is winless in its last eight outings (0-6-2).
Campbell finished with a 17-10 edge in shots, but the victory was not secure until Kyle Farmer's shot with one second left sailed just wide of the left post. As a result, Campbell improved to 6-1-1 in its last eight matches.
Zechman put the Keydets in front in the 18th minute. Campbell cleared a corner kick to the top of the box and Zechman struck a low, left-footed blast through traffic and past CU keeper Ethan Hall.
Campbell equalized just over four minute later. Keegan Terry hit a shot in the box that rebounded to Francis, who slotted home the equalizer at 21:44.
Just before the half, Campbell went ahead on a counter attack down the right side. Scooter Oliver found Jonah Powers-Myszka down the right side and he fed Cardenas, whose right-footed shot beat VMI keeper Adrian Dominquez.
VMI nearly drew level in the 63rd minute when a corner fell to Stephen Mallon in the area. His low shot was headed just inside the left post, but Justin Franz cleared the ball to preserve the lead.
However, a poor clearance again punished the Camels just three minutes later when Zechman scored with his right foot on a shot from outside the box that found the upper left corner of Hall's net.
In the 74th minute, Terry found the ball at his feet in the box behind the VMI back four, but his left-footed shot sailed high over the bar.
The winner came when Jonathan Ray played the ball to Cardenas and the junior from Mexico City curled a shot into the upper right corner for his sixth goal of the year. Cardenas scored twice and assisted on CU's other goal in a 3-1 victory over Liberty Tuesday night.
Campbell moved into a tie with Gardner-Webb for second place in the Big South standings with 15 points (5-2-0). The Bulldogs play Saturday night at Radford.
CU has out-shot its 6 Big South opponents by a 152-76 margin, 74-35 in shots on goal.
Campbell has compiled a record of 30-7-4 (.780) in its last 41 games during the month of October (including a 6-1-1 mark this season). In those 41 contests, the Camels have out-scored their foes by an 85-49 margin.
Since the start of the 2005 campaign, Campbell owns a 39-19-2 (.667) record at the Eakes Athletic Complex -- including 3 wins over nationally-ranked teams at the site. CU is 4-3-1 at home this year and has won its last four at Eakes.
The Camels conclude the regular season with road games Tuesday at High Point and next Saturday (Nov. 5) at Coastal Carolina. Gardner-Webb hosts the Big South Championship tournament Nov. 10-13.