Hawks get first win over Maryville men
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Conferences didn’t matter. Tries didn’t matter.
The only thing that counted Sunday was goals, and in the 108th minute — deep in double overtime — Huntingdon’s Stacy Terry put in the golden goal off a free ball bouncing in the box following a penalty shot from beside the concession stand to give the Hawks a 2-1 win and their first victory over the Maryville College men’s soccer team.
“I don’t think we’ve ever lost to them; maybe back when they were NAIA we did but not since they went D3,” MC coach Pepe Fernandez told The Daily Times. “You have to give them credit, they hug around and stole a goal late. It was just exactly what we talked about: no fouls, don’t let them move it forward. We foul late, they drove it into the box and got the goal. You have to finish your chances against a team like this.”
Sunday was the first time Huntingdon and Maryville College faced off on the pitch outside of conference play since the Hawks left the NAIA ranks for the NCAA. MC (3-5-1) is out of the Great South and well into its first run into the USA South Athletic Conference, while Huntingdon (4-5-1) is in its last year of the GSAC before the Hawks also fly away to the USAC next fall.
The intricacies of conference realignment weren’t a factor for the Hawks, who just wanted that first win over Maryville.
“The rivalry always exists, even though we needed to win a few to make it a real rivalry,” Huntingdon coach Timmy McCormack said. “It’s always a great game with Maryville. We’ve had some thrillers, especially in the GSAC tournaments in the past. This is a good step forward for our program. I have a ton of respect for Pepe and the coaches at Maryville, and honestly everything we’ve done we’ve kind of modelled after what they’ve done in being successful for so long.”
Maryville dominated control of the ball and outshot the Hawks 25-5 — with eight coming in the final 10 minutes of regulation alone — but didn’t get on the board until the 80th minute when forward Sean Yoder headed in an assist from Curtis Dameron to knot the match.
“Their keeper played well and battled hard, but even still you should average a goal about every seven shots on goal. I’ve been on both sides of these games, where it looks like you deserve it when you look at the shot count and possession, but that’s not soccer,” Fernandez said. “Soccer is putting it in the net and keeping it out and we didn’t do that well.”
Huntingdon’s Rhett Williams connected straight on from 30 yards out over top of MC keeper Ben Munger with a tailing spin in the 60th minute for the initial 1-0 lead.
Payne Fisher looked to have puts the Scots into the first control of the scoreboard with eight minutes remaining, but MC was called for offsides. It was the second no goal call for Maryville on the afternoon and not the only frustration. Fisher also got off a shot from the front of the box that ricochetted off the cross bar up instead of in during the 73rd.
“We played pretty well but typical of a young team,” Fernandez said. “We’re doing all the things soccer wise well but the critical moments — finishing and defending — is where we’re struggling, and that can kill you.”