Men’s Soccer: A Preview of Radford’s 2019 Season So Far

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By Lucas Carr | lcarr15@radford.edu

The Radford Men’s Soccer team has opened up their season with a win and a pair of losses. Picked to finish second in Big South Preseason Poll, the Highlanders have scored a total of five goals over a three-game span.

Before the season, sophomore Amadou Macky Diop was picked as the Preseason Attacking Player of the Year. Diop, who earned 2018 Co-Freshman of the Year, tallied nine total goals last season, helping the Highlanders end the season with a 7-9 overall record and 5-3 in Big South Conference play.

The Highlanders hope to have another accomplished season within the Big South Conference.

Radford played two home games in a row against Liberty University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The season opener resulted in a close game as the Highlanders fell to the Flames, 2-1.

Led by Diop’s hat trick in the second, however, the men’s soccer team was able to overcome a three-goal deficit and beat the UNCG Spartans 4-3 at home.

Diop netted the game-winner in the last of the five minutes of extra time to spur the Highlanders out in front.

The Springfield Junior, Dondre’ Robinson was able to swipe the ball from a UNCG defender and found Diop streaking towards the goal. Robinson found his target and Diop chipped the ball right off his heel and into the back of the net.

Dondre' Robinson
Dondre’ Robinson, Springfield Junior.

The Highlanders then faced the University of North Carolina Wilmington in a tough game on Sept. 5. They fell to the Seahawks 0-3. Though they are coming off a loss, the Highlanders are primed to bounce back against the College of Charleston Sunday, Sept. 8.The work of freshman Octavio Ocampo did not go unnoticed. Ocampo’s goal tied the score at three-all in the 85th minute of the match. He fired a lofting shot over the outstretched hands of the Spartan goalie and into the goal it went.

Macky Diop became the first player since 2017 to tally a hat-trick, taking nine total shots and making three, both being records for the Sophomore. In total, the Highlanders took a total of 24 shots. The aggressive attacking offense seems to be the game plan for head coach Bryheem Hancock.

In a post-game interview, Hancock gave credit to the UNCG squad for putting up a good fight but said this of his own team: “I really love the way the bench was into it, rooting on the guys on the field but at the end of the day it’s about what team scores more goals.”

Support from the benches and the stands seems to be essential for the Highlanders to win.

The Highlanders then faced the University of North Carolina Wilmington in a tough game on Sept. 5. They fell to the Seahawks 0-3. Though they are coming off a loss, the Highlanders are primed to bounce back against the College of Charleston Sunday, Sept. 8.

This will be the first road test for the Highlanders as they travel to County University Stadium in South Carolina. The Radford men have a tough couple games leading into Big South Conference play on Sept. 28 against Campbell University.

Photo Credit: (Radford Athletics)

Featured Image: (Macky Diop)