Boiling Springs, N.C. – Gardner-Webb had three different players account for one goal apiece on Tuesday night, as the men’s soccer team blanked the Catawba College Indians 3-0 in exhibition play at Greene-Harbison Field in Boiling Springs, N.C.
Gardner-Webb, which controlled the pace of the match for most of the contest, outshot the Indians 11-10 for the match, yet held a huge 9-1 advantage in the first half of play.
Gardner-Webb got on the scoreboard first in the 12th minute of play by way of a penalty kick by senior co-captain Marius Hammersmark. The Runnin’ Bulldogs received the penalty kick chance when midfielder Patrick Gürser was taken down in the box by a Catawba defender at the 11:58 mark.
After each team traded shots over the next 12 minutes of play, which included Catawba’s best scoring chance hitting off the left front post by Corey Faughnan in the 19th minute, Gardner-Webb pushed its lead out to 2-0 on a goal by junior forward Denzel Clarke in the 25th minute. On the goal, GWU freshman defender Barth-Luther Mouafo found a streaking Clarke at the top of the box who fired a shot off his left foot and placed it just inside the right front post.
The Runnin’ Bulldogs’ attack continued to put pressure on the Catawba defense, as the home team tallied three more shots over the final 20 minutes of the first half to take a 2-0 lead into the break.
The second half saw the Catawba Indians fire off nine shots compared to GWU’s two scoring chances, however, it would be the Runnin’ Bulldogs that would score the lone goal of the final 45 minutes of play early in the half at the 46:15 minute mark.
Newcomer Arjun Jung received a pass from fellow newcomer Sami Jilla on a cross from the right side of the box to the left side where Jung took one touch to dodge the diving goalkeeper and then ripped a shot into the back of the open net to put the home team up 3-0 in the 47th minute.
Catawba posted a shot only 20 seconds later, which was hauled in by freshman goalkeeper Matthew Swan, and then saw its next four shot attempts fly offline and out of play.
Gardner-Webb would need a team save in front of the goal in the 83rd minute, as a defender cleared the ball out of the box on a Catawba shot attempt, to hold on to the shutout win.
GWU’s Swann played all 90 minutes in goal for the Runnin’ Bulldogs, recording one save in the win while facing 10 Catawba shots.
The Indians played four different goalkeepers in the match, as the quadrant recorded four saves overall, yet surrendered three goals over the 90 minutes of play.
Gardner-Webb will wrap up its exhibition season at home this Saturday night, August 24th, as the Runnin’ Bulldogs will host the Bears of Lenoir-Rhyne University at 7 p.m. at Greene-Harbison Field.