Stormy Petrels Edge Rhodes 1-0, Maintain First Place in SAA
The Oglethorpe men's soccer team remained undefeated in SAA play, defeating Rhodes 1-0 Sunday afternoon in an evenly-played game on the road in Memphis, Tennessee. In a game that was a scoreless tie for the majority of the proceedings, the Stormy Petrels broke through midway through the second half and then held on for the one-goal victory. The result improved the team to 9-2-1 on the season overall and 3-0-1 in SAA play, firmly establishing them at the top position of the league standings with more than half of the campaign finished.
The Petrels dominated the run of play in the first half, outshooting Rhodes 7-1 over the course of the opening 45 minutes, but were unable to secure the lead against the homestanding Lynx. That continued into the second half, as both teams kept searching for a breakthrough. It finally came for the Petrels in the 67th minute, as sophomore midfielder Adam Sole took a pass from fellow sophomore midfielder Andrew Grodhaus and finished it to give Oglethorpe the 1-0 lead they'd been looking for.
Rhodes picked up the attack from that point as they went in search of an equalizer. They outshot the Petrels 8-3 over the course of the second half. But the Oglethorpe defense held and senior goalkeeper Luke Whelan made three crucial saves down the stretch. He made stops in the 79th, 83rd and 87th minutes, allowing his team to hold on for the one-goal win.
For the game, Oglethorpe outshot Rhodes 10-9, including an even 3-3 count in shots on goal. The Petrels took four corner kicks to Oglethorpe's three.
"This was a big win for us in the conference," said Oglethorpe head coach Jon Akin. "It wasn't easy, but we got the victory at the end of the day. That was our last road game of the regular season, so it'll be good to get back home and play five straight home games heading into the SAA Tournament. We'll look to keep this string going in those games."
With the victory, the Petrels sit in first place in the SAA at 3-0-1. Second-place Birmingham-Southern is 2-1 in second place after having their game against Centre on Sunday postponed due to the effects of Tropical Depression Nate on the Birmingham area Sunday. The Petrels and Panthers are the only two conference teams over .500 at this point in the season.
The Petrels will now return home for the remainder of the regular season. They'll take on Millsaps Friday at 7:30 p.m. before welcoming Birmingham-Southern to Atlanta Sunday at 2:30 p.m. The Petrels are also set to host Emory, Berry and Georgia Gwinnett to round out the regular season.