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by Ricky Rogers
Radford men’s soccer posted two more shutouts and two more Big South wins in matches against Longwood and Campbell last week, with a Senior Night win over the Fighting Camels highlighting the victories.
Radford (12-3-1, 6-1 Big South) started out on Wednesday with a trip to Farmville to face the hosting Lancers (5-10-1, 2-4).
The lone highlight of the game came in the 26th minute when Fraser Colmer sent a free kick from just outside the 18-yard box running into the middle of the area. Sophomore forward Kieran Roberts came streaking in, shaking off his defender and slotting a one-time shot into the bottom-right corner of the net. The goal gave the Highlanders and early 1-0 lead and moved Roberts into a tie with Sivert Daehlie for the team lead in goals.
The defense for Radford stayed strong for the rest of the match, yielding Longwood six shots on goal but failing to concede. The Roberts tally was enough for the Highlanders to pick up their fifth Big South win of the season.
The team ended their 2016 home slate of matches on a high note when they returned Saturday for Senior Night against visiting Campbell.
Radford honored six seniors: Aitor Pouseu Blanco, Jo Vetle Rimstad, Bismark Amofah, Gabriel Amba, Garland Smith and Zachary Turk. This match would be their last match played inside Cupp Stadium.
Radford came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, shooting three shots in the first 10 minutes. They broke through in the 27th minute when Campbell (5-10, 2-5) committed a foul right outside the 18-yard box. Colmer capitalized on the free kick, bending it around the wall and hitting the bottom right corner of the goal just outside the reach of Campbell goalkeeper Matthew Mozynski. Radford ended the first half with the 1-0 lead intact.
In the second half at the 56th minute, Radford would make its way on the scoreboard again. Evan Szklennik feinted a cut inside the box that left his defender in the mud and found the far post at a tight angle for a 2-0 Highlander lead.
Radford wanted to make sure there was no doubt as to why they deserved to be there as they ended the game with a boom, scoring in the 89th minute. Wyatt Erizen sent a cross from midfield to Taylor Martin just outside the 18-yard box right of the goal. Martin avoided defenders dribbled into the box before rocketing a shot into the top shelf of the net. With three goals, a clean sheet and a 19-6 shot advantage, the Highlanders cruised to the end of the game with a comfortable victory.
That win for the Highlanders sets up a Nov. 2 showdown with UNC Asheville to determine the Big South regular season champion. Radford’s final match before the Big South Tournament will be in Asheville, N.C. with kickoff set for 7 p.m.