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The Radford University Men’s Soccer team continued their Big South conference play on the 22nd at Presbyterian’s Martin Stadium.
Presbyterian midfielder Jonny Mercado knocked in the first goal of the game. Later, however, sophomore midfielder Luis Grande equalized the game in the 81st minute.
With just 2:48 left in the game, Mercado managed to net the game winner off a shot from outside the box assisted by Presbyterian defender Josh Carter.
Despite a dominating performance by the Highs, Presbyterian managed to pull out the win. The Highs had 23 shots to Presbyterian’s 10. They also had 10 corners to the opposition’s two.
Radford goalkeeper Dane Watson recorded two saves to Presbyterian goalkeeper Ethan Watson’s five.
Sophomore midfielder Chel Ho Kim Park led the Highs with five shots in the game. Also, Grande ended the game with two shots on goal, and four total.
The Highlanders attempted to bounce back from the loss in a big rivalry game against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
The Highs put in the first goal of the game in the 3rd minute. The goal was scored by Grande, assisted by senior midfielder Brian Gwanzura and Kim Park.
Grande explained that, “It was a little bit of a relief for us to get the first goal of the game, but that doesn’t define the game.”
Being a senior, this was Gwanzura’s last game in the rivalry. He said, “It felt real good, because last year, we lost 2-1.”
Radford junior goalkeeper Ryan Taylor made a terrific save off a breakaway in the 29th minute to momentarily keep the shutout alive.
Grande went on to score his 2nd goal of the game in the 18th minute off an assist from senior forward Iyiola Awosika. Grande rebounded the ball after Awosika’s shot hit the post and nailed it in the net.
On the goal, Grande said, “Iyiola made a fantastic play in the 2nd goal. I just got lucky to put it in.”
Virginia Tech midfielder Ben Strong answered with a goal of his own just 29 seconds later. The goal was assisted by defender Drew Ranahan and midfielder David Fiorello.
At the end of the half, the Highs led 2-1.
In the 73rd minute of the game, Tech’s Fiorello received the Hokies’ second yellow card of the game. In the 78th minute, Radford freshman midfielder Dario Redando got a yellow card.
After an eventful first half, neither team was able to score in the second half, despite many chances by both. Radford ended the game with 14 shots to Virginia Tech’s six. Radford eventually triumphed by a score of 2-1. This is the second time in three years that the Highlanders have beaten the Hokies.
Radford outplayed Tech in the match, and as Head Coach Marc Reeves said, “We deserved to win. We created some good chances to score. “
It was a very physical match between the teams. Radford committed 13 fouls in the game to Virginia Tech’s 19.
On the physical nature of the game, Gwanzura said, “We have to be physical, but we also have to be clean.”
The win propelled Radford’s overall record over .500, at 8-7. Their next match comes against Gardner-Webb University on Oct. 29. at 6 p.m.
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