Written by Sean Dahlin
BUENA VISTA, Va.—After falling behind early by three goals, the Southern Virginia University men's soccer team fell short 3-2 to Ferrum College in its second straight loss on Thursday's home Senior Day.
"We struggled to find any momentum after the first goal was scored," said sixth-year Head Coach Tony Caputo. "I credit our team for regrouping in the second half and finding a way to get back in the game."
Neither team could find the back of the net for the first 25 minutes of the game before Ferrum (7-8-1) took a 1-0 lead at the 25:49 mark when a ball was inadvertently deflected by Southern Virginia (9-6) into the Knights' goal.
The Panthers finished the intermission with a three-score lead as Aaron Gustine provided Ferrum's offense in the first half, scoring two goals—in the 28th and 45th minutes—from shots in front of the net.
After making some halftime adjustments and holding Ferrum scoreless in the second half, Southern Virginia put its first crooked number on the board in the 58th minute as freshman midfielder Cameron Walch (Sandy, Utah) made an unassisted goal to cut the deficit to 3-1.
The Knights' second score came at the 84:00 mark as Walch sent a corner kick from the right side to high school teammate and fellow-freshman Zac McCulloch (Draper, Utah) who knocked in the ball for his third goal of the season.
The clock ran out, however, to cut short Southern Virginia's comeback try at The Fields.
Ferrum held a 16-11 overall shot advantage although Southern Virginia outshot the Panthers 10-6 in the second half.
Thursday's loss marked the final home match for four Southern Virginia seniors—Garrett Coffman (Wabash, Ind.), Ryan Foster (Custer, S.D.), Robert Key (Flower Mound, Texas) and Branden Seeberger (Forest, Va.).
"The four seniors honored today have been an integral part of this program's success over the years," said Caputo. "Garrett [Coffman], Ryan [Foster], Robert [Key] and Branden [Seeberger] are all competitors that will be difficult to replace."
With a 9-6 record and two games left in the season, Southern Virginia will await its postseason fate in hopes of earning a spot in the eight-team USCAA Men's Soccer National Championship tournament in Asheville, N.C. from November 1-3.
Men's soccer travels for its final two games of the season beginning with a contest at Greensboro College on Oct. 20.