Seahawks win double-overtime thriller

Heaney: “I’m tremendously proud of my guys.”

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Seahawks win double-overtime thriller

No. 10 Phillip Goodrum attempts to keep the ball in play

No. 10 Phillip Goodrum attempts to keep the ball in play

Noah Powers/The Seahawk

No. 10 Phillip Goodrum attempts to keep the ball in play

Noah Powers/The Seahawk

Noah Powers/The Seahawk

No. 10 Phillip Goodrum attempts to keep the ball in play

Lanre Badmus, Staff Writer

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UNC Wilmington men’s soccer team was tested on Saturday night. Having entered the night on its first winless skid of the season, the Seahawks needed a victory to stay alive in the quest for the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title. After falling behind towards the end of the first half, UNCW rallied for a 2-1 double-overtime victory over William & Mary on senior night at UNCW Soccer Stadium.

Familiar territory

The no. 10 Seahawks (12-3-2, 5-0-2) eventually prevailed in their third straight overtime contest, but they were behind going into halftime. The Tribe (4-9-2, 2-3-2) took the lead in the 37thminute through freshman Devin McCarthy. Seahawks goalkeeper Ryan Cretens misplayed a pass out of the box, and McCarthy pounced to score his second of the season.

The Seahawks enjoyed more attacking plays in the second half, and it paid off in the 67thminute. Freshman Cesar Cruz was fouled in the penalty area, and senior midfielder David Lozano confidently dispatched the penalty kick to equalize.

Proving their resilience

Although William & Mary had both shots in the opening overtime period, it was UNCW who found the winner in the second overtime. Redshirt junior Danny Reynolds’ free-kick from the right flank found the head of junior forward Phillip Goodrum, whose 12thgoal of the campaign gave Team Teal the win after 102 minutes.

The final shot count was 14-12 in W&M’s favor, and corner kicks were even at four apiece. Two redshirt seniors – Ryan Cretens for UNCW and Sam Onyeador for William & Mary– tallied four and six saves, respectively. UNCW led the foul count 22-16.

“It’s great for the fans,” said Seahawks head coach Aidan Heaney of the result postgame. “From our perspective, we tried a lot of things just to get the game back, and fortunately finally one dropped for us…William and Mary are the champions of the CAA, so we feel fortunate and grateful to get the three points. I’m tremendously proud of my guys.”

“We’ve had some tough games, especially the last two before this,” matchwinner Goodrum referring to the draw against Delaware and the loss to Coastal. “You could sense when we got into the huddle how much everyone wanted it. It says a lot about our character, and we just showed them what we were made of.”

“It feels huge,” Lozano said about getting the win on his senior night honoring him and seven of his teammates. “Last year we didn’t get the result against them in the conference championship, so I couldn’t ask for a better senior night. All of us, from freshmen to seniors, have been putting in a lot of hard work throughout this whole year.”

Do-or-die

Now, the Seahawks have one more conference game to play – a previously-postponed road trip to Boston to face Northeastern – on Tuesday night. Courtesy of James Madison’s 1-0 home loss to Elon on Saturday, all UNCW needs is a draw in order to host the CAA conference tournament right here in the Port City.

“There’s a lot of pressure, but pressure is a privilege,” said Goodrum. “This is exactly where we want to be, in control of our own destiny. It’s about recovering and then going up there and taking care of business.”