Stormy Petrels Clinch Fourth Straight SAA Regular Season Title with 2-0 Win over Rhodes
The Oglethorpe men's soccer team clinched their fourth straight outright SAA regular season title Sunday afternoon in a tense 2-0 victory over second-place Rhodes. With the win, the Stormy Petrels have secured the No. 1 seed in the SAA tournament and the right to host the 4-team championship round of the event if they get through their opening-round game. They also improved to 9-2 overall on the season and a perfect 6-0 in SAA play.
The Petrels got the match off to an outstanding start, as they got the opening goal from senior midfielder Topher Marshall in the 11th minute. A mis-hit clearance from the visiting Lynx fell to Marshall at the top of the box and he made no mistake with his finish, giving his team a 1-0 advantage.
From there, though, Rhodes was able to stay in the game until the final minutes. They were unable to manage much going forward, but did keep the Oglethorpe attack largely in check and gave themselves a chance to pick up a late equalizer. The home side generated several chances early in the second half. Freshman midfielder Affonso Temporal put a shot just wide of the Rhodes goal in the 55th minute, then junior defender Bentley Skinner and freshman forward Abraham Lopez both saw shots saved by Rhodes goalkeeper Patrick Wilkerson as the half went on.
The Lynx were almost able to tie it up in the 78th minute, as a shot from Nico Lindsay cannoned off the post, but the visitors were unable to collect the rebound and the Petrels cleared.
Oglethorpe finally put the game away in the 87th minute. Junior midfielder Josh Bronstorph had a shot from the top of the box blocked out front by a defender, but the ball caromed into the path of freshman midfielder Angel Guevara. Guevara hammered the ball into the back of the net to secure victory for the Petrels.
In addition to clinching the SAA title, the Petrels also extended their SAA unbeaten streak to an even 20 games, their SAA winning streak to 12 games, and their overall winning streak to eight games.
Oglethorpe outshot the Lynx 10-4 and put five shots on goal to the visitors' one. The Petrels also took two corner kicks to none for Rhodes.
The Petrels will next be in action on Tuesday evening, when they head across town to take on No. 10 Emory. After that, they'll head up to northwest Georgia to take on Berry in their final regular season game.