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The Radford Men’s Soccer team continued its rampage through the Big South Conference, as they remained undefeated in the conference with a 6-1 win over Gardner-Webb University on Saturday, Sept. 29. Four days earlier, the Highlanders got a break from Big South play when they went head to head against the Elon University Phoenix in Elon, North Carolina.
Both the Highs and the Phoenix played stiff defense during the first half. Despite being outshot 7-3 in the first 45 minutes, senior goalkeeper Ryan Taylor played the hero for Radford by performing three saves against Elon. Taylor kept the Highs in the game, and when the two teams headed to the locker room they were still tied. That would change in the 48th minute, however.
Barely three minutes into the second half, Elon’s Chris Thomas scored his 11th goal of the season when he got behind Radford’s defense and rocketed a shot past Taylor. Thomas’ goal was unassisted.
RU managed to stop the bleeding there, and resumed playing the stiff defense that characterized the first half. They would eventually be outshot 8-6 in the second half, but Taylor recorded another 3 saves to keep RU in the game.
Finally, in the 87th minute, junior midfielder Bernardo Ulmo tallied his sixth goal of the season when he snuck the equalizing goal by Elon goalkeeper Nathan Dean. Ulmo has now scored a goal in each of the past six matches.
With the game tied in the final three minutes, the two squads were forced into overtime. After neither team scored after an additional 20 minutes of play, the match was declared a 1-1 draw. RU improved to 3-2-3 overall, but their conference record remained unchanged because Elon is not a member of the Big South.
Four days later on Saturday, Sept. 29, RU went up against conference foe Gardner-Webb in a tough road match in Bolling Springs, North Carolina. The match began in traditional Big South style; hard defense and low scores. Radford led 1-0 going into the locker rooms, thanks to a 36th minute tally by junior midfielder Chel Ho Park Kim.
The second half was a very different story for both squads. Radford scored five unanswered goals, thoroughly abusing Gardner-Webb goalkeeper Scott Krotee in the process. Krotee was finally pulled from the game after RU went up 5-0 after a goal by junior forward Joe Mayer.
Krotee was replaced by G-WU goalkeeper Jaap Elekan, who promptly gave up a 78th minute goal to RU sophomore forward Ramzi Dridi. Ryan Taylor tallied three saves in the match, and gave up a meaningless 87th minute goal to Gardner-Webb’s Taylor Jordan. RU went on to win the match 6-1, and remained undefeated (2-0-0) in the Big South.
RU will play its next match on Wednesday, Oct. 3, when it travels to Farmville, Va. to take on the Longwood University Lancers.