The Seahawk

No. 9 Seahawks suffer first loss of season

UNCW falls to Fairfield 4-2.

No.+21+Drew+Rabil+tries+to+cross+up+a+Fairfield+defender
No. 21 Drew Rabil tries to cross up a Fairfield defender

No. 21 Drew Rabil tries to cross up a Fairfield defender

Noah Powers/The Seahawk

Noah Powers/The Seahawk

No. 21 Drew Rabil tries to cross up a Fairfield defender

Lanre Badmus, Staff Writer

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The UNC Wilmington men’s soccer team lost a game for the first time this season on Friday night, dropping a 2-1 decision at home to Fairfield to kick off the UNCW Springhill Suites Classic.

The no. 9 Seahawks (4-1) scored 11 goals and conceded none in their opening four games to start the season, all of which were wins. However, that was thrown into question when Fairfield senior midfielder Diego Casielles fired home a free kick just before halftime.UNCW equalized in the 54th minute when sophomore forward Emil Elveroth collected a through ball from senior midfielder Shane Mecham and slotted the ball into Stags goalkeeper Gordon Botterill’s net for his third goal of the year. The Seahawks enjoyed most of the possession and chances on the evening, outshooting Fairfield 14-5 as well as having all nine corners taken in the contest.

UNCW equalized in the 54th minute when sophomore forward Emil Elveroth collected a through ball from senior midfielder Shane Mecham and slotted the ball into Stags goalkeeper Gordon Botterill’s net for his third goal of the year. The Seahawks enjoyed most of the possession and chances on the evening, outshooting Fairfield 14-5 as well as having all nine corners taken in the contest.

Despite the possession and chance creation, it would be Casielles and Fairfield who would have the last laugh, as the Spaniard scored a 75th-minute penalty kick that would prove to be decisive on the night of the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

“Not getting a goal in the first half and the timing of their first goal was obviously tough,” said Seahawks coach Aidan Heaney postgame. “They scored a free kick at the end of the first half, so I think it gave them confidence going into the second half.”

Heaney also noted how the team were “very bright” and had “moved the ball really well” but lacked the final product, and also gave credit to Fairfield (2-2) for having a good squad that defended well.

“I think they sat back really deep and tried to take our pressure and play on the counter,” junior forward Phillip Goodrum said postgame. “We tried to unlock them, and we did at one point, but I think as a team that we just have to come together and figure out new ways to put the ball in the back of the net.”

“They had a plan, and they followed it very well,” said Seahawks goalscorer Elveroth. “We just need to bounce back Sunday.”

The Seahawks close out the Springhill Suites Classic on Sunday afternoon when they take on in-state rivals UNC Asheville.

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No. 9 Seahawks suffer first loss of season