JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Three first half goals from three different players pushed the Carson-Newman men's soccer team (10-2-1, 6-2 SAC) to a 4-1 win over the seventh-ranked Wingate Bulldogs (10-2-2, 5-1 SAC) in a critical South Atlantic Conference contest Saturday night at McCown Field on Homecoming.
Reigning South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week Tom Read (London, England) tallied a goal and two assists in the contest and seniors James Ward (Trine Cornwell, England) and Sindre Welo (Trondheim, Norway) and junior Marius Staalby (Trondheim, Norway) each scored in the win over the Bulldogs.
The win is C-N's first regular season win over a top-10 team since knocking off rival Tusculum 4-3 in 2004. The Eagles have now knocked off two-consecutive ranked opponents after beating 16th-ranked Young Harris on Tuesday. C-N has now beat three ranked foes on the season.
"Today, we knew what we had to do. We watched these guys play and we able to watch them play at Lander and we saw some weaknesses. They were without some players, too. Good opponent. Coached very well. I have a lot of respect for Gary Hamill. We knew their flaws and they played three games this week as well; we knew we were going to press them hard and press them early," coach Richard Moodie said. "The game plan worked. The teams take all the credit. They were unbelievable. They were here for a purpose and it's because they want to prove a point."
Ward opened the scoring in the 14th-minute with a header off a corner. Read delivered a corner from the right flag stick that sailed straight to Ward's head who then beat Wingate goalkeeper Pablo Jara down the middle of the net for the senior's second goal of the season to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead early.
Twelve minutes later, Carson-Newman struck again. Read found freshman Bruno Andrade (Sao Paulo, Brazil) down the right sideline. Andrade delivered a cross an unmarked Staalby in the middle of the box; Staalby beat Jara with a header and the Eagles led 2-0 after the first 30 minutes of play. Staalby's goal was his first game-winner of the season and his fifth on the year.
Right before the halftime break in the 45th-minute, Read found the back of the net. Senior Rurik Pereira (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil) sent a cross to Read who ran unmarked into a one-on-one situation with Jara and the junior slotted the home into the net for a 3-0 lead at the break for C-N.
Wingate responded in the 54th-minute with a goal from Jon Ander who took a low cross from Aksel Juul and beat Carson-Newman keeper Kavi Luchowa (London, England) to his left and cut the C-N lead to 3-1.
The Eagles responded five minutes later with the final goal of the contest. Jara was called for a foul in the box when he took down a Carson-Newman attacker and set up a penalty kick. Welo stepped to the spot and went to his right for his second penalty kick of the season and his seventh goal in 2015 to give Carson-Newman the 4-1 win.
Luchowa recorded five saves and conceded one goal for his 10th win of the season, while Jara allowed four goals and made three saves in the losing effort. Read led the Eagles with three shots, while freshman Stephen Parry (Boulogne-Billiancourt, France), Welo and Pereira each recorded two attempts. Four Bulldogs had two shots each to lead the team.
Carson-Newman outshout Wingate 15-12, but the Bulldogs tallied 11 shots in the second half. The Eagles outshot WU 9-1 in the first 45 minutes of play. C-N had seven corners compared to six for Wingate.
Welo now sits alone in sixth in the Carson-Newman record books with 26 career goals; the senior is five scores off the pace of fifth-place's Robert Hill. Staalby's goal in the 26th-minute was his 10th-career score.
Carson-Newman hits the road for its final nonconference game of the season as the Eagles travel to Bristol, Tenn. to face the King Tornado at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.