ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – The inaugural varsity season for the Mary Baldwin University men's soccer team came to an end after a 2-0 loss at N.C. Wesleyan in the first round of the USA South Men's Soccer Tournament at Scalf Field on Saturday.
The Fighting Squirrels, who entered the game as the No. 4 seed in the East, end their season at 8-11 overall. MBU battled to the conference tournament with a league record of 5-8 on the season. Meanwhile, the top seed in the East, the Battling Bishops, will move on to face the winner of Maryville and Piedmont in the semifinals of the tournament. NCWC sits at 15-2-1 overall.
The Battling Bishops notched the first goal of the contest in the 28th minute as Matteo Costa took a feed from Tommaso Iovene, 1-0. The lone score held true through the end of the first period as the Battling Bishops maintained possession in their offensive half for a majority of the first 45 minutes. The top-seeded team in the East recorded 14 shots just in the period with 10 of those on target.
The Fighting Squirrels had just one shot in the opening period which came from Hordy Ndambo that was pushed aside by the NCWC goalkeeper.
In the second half, the Fighting Squirrels offered a few more chances, including another attempt by Ndambo that went just wide of the left side of the net. A close chance by the Fighting Squirrels was thwarted by an offside call as Ousmane Dansoko was just inches behind the back line of the Bishop defense. In the 77th minute, N.C. Wesleyan added an insurance tally as Costa put in his second score of the game this time with an assist from Joe Brooks. MBU saw a few more scoring chances late in the game but could not find a way behind the Bishop goalkeeper as the game drew to a 2-0 final.
In the net, Obdulio Argueta stopped a season-high 12 shots as the Fighting Squirrels also picked up a team save behind him. Across the pitch, Tobias Borzel claimed the victory after only facing a pair of shots in all 90 minutes.
As a team, the Battling Bishops outshot the Fighting Squirrels by a 23-7 margin. NCWC also had an advantage in set pieces with four corner kicks compared to Mary Baldwin's two.