Men’s soccer soars into national rankings

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Men’s soccer soars into national rankings

Lanre Badmus, Staff Writer

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The UNC Wilmington men’s soccer team has soared up the national rankings early in the 2019 season.

The Seahawks have opened the new campaign with two consecutive shutout victories over Stetson (4-0) and West Virginia (1-0) and have been recognized for their season start with an inclusion in multiple national rankings.

The Seahawks are ranked no. 13 in the United Soccer Coaches National Poll as well as no. 14 in the Top Drawer Soccer Top 25 Poll by virtue of winning the Aaron Olitsky Memorial Soccer Classic hosted by College of Charleston this past weekend. It was the first time that the team had opened a season with back-to-back clean sheets since 1987.

Senior midfielder David Lozano kicked the season off by converting a penalty kick just 32 seconds into last Friday’s matchup against Stetson, making it just the third time in the last 17 years that UNCW has scored in the opening minute of a game. Lozano’s goal was the quickest of the three.

The Seahawks then used two goals from junior forward Phillip Goodrum and a first-ever UNCW goal from redshirt junior transfer Danny Reynolds to pull away from the Hatters for the 4-0 victory in the second half.

Sophomore forward Emil Elveroth’s eighth-minute strike proved the difference against the Mountaineers on Sunday evening. Elveroth received a pass from junior transfer defender Wilhelm Nilsson and slotted the ball home to open his 2018 season.

Redshirt senior goalkeeper Ryan Cretens took his career clean sheet total to 15 with both shutouts over the weekend.

The Seahawks return to action on Thursday for their home opener against Jacksonville at 7 p.m. before visiting Longwood for a Labor Day matinee on Monday.