Emmitsburg, Md. (September 22, 2018) – The Mount St. Mary's men's soccer team topped VMI by a 1-0 margin on Saturday night at Waldron Family Stadium for the team's first victory of the season. Bilal Hassane netted the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 71st minute, and goalie Bobby Edwards came up big in net to preserve the shutout win.
The victory was the first of Head Coach Bryan Cunningham's Mount St. Mary's career. "I thought we played really well," said Cunningham. "The last three to four matches, we've been getting better and better and just haven't been getting the win. But we stuck to our process … and tonight our players were outstanding, I thought from start to finish we finally played a complete match."
"The win means a lot," continued Cunningham. "First and foremost, it's five years in the making to be quite honest … It's a win to honor everybody. It's to honor the current players on the team and how much they appreciate being a part of this program … and it's obviously a tribute to all the guys who made this happen for us to be back here right now."
VMI (0-8) had the game's first scoring opportunity in the 16th minute of play. Miguel Arrate played a ball to Jonathan Martinez, who was stationed just above the six-yard box. Martinez one-timed it on target, but was turned away by Edwards in net.
The Mount (1-4-2) nearly got on the board late in the first half on a nicely developed play. David Owens sent a long ball to the top of the penalty area, and Andrew Lasso chested it down to Jonathan Godette. Godette struck a volley, but VMI keeper Broden Schull got in front of it to keep the score knotted at 0-0.
Mount St. Mary's held a 7-6 shot advantage and a 3-1 margin on corners heading into the halftime break.
With just under 20 minutes remaining in the tilt, Godette crossed one into a dangerous area off a set piece, and a VMI defender was called for a handball inside the box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Mount. Hassane stepped up and drilled the penalty kick inside the right post for his first goal of the season, giving the Mountaineers a late 1-0 advantage.
Just moments after the Mount tally, VMI nearly tied things up on a long strike from Justin Riescher. Off an attempted clearance by Mount St. Mary's, Riescher volleyed one from over 20 yards out that was ticketed for the bottom right corner. Edwards made an all-out diving save to his left to keep the Keydets off the board and preserve the 1-0 Mount lead.
Edwards came up big one last time in the waning seconds on another strike from Riescher from around 30 yards out. Riescher attempted to curl one into the left side, but Edwards made a lunging save to knock the ball from danger as the final seconds on the clock ticked out.
Edward finished with four saves in the contest, including two big stops in the second half. The shutout was the first of the season for the net minder.
The Mount fired a season-high 17 shots in the match, including 10 in the second half, and outshot the Keydets 17-14 overall. The Mountaineers also held a 7-5 advantage on corner kicks.
Mount St. Mary's is back in action this coming Tuesday (Sept. 25) for a road test at St. John's at 7 p.m.