ASHLAND, Va. – Randolph-Macon men's soccer faced a tight contest with St. Mary's (Md.), but were able to hang on to the victory in a Saturday evening tilt. The two goals scored against R-MC are the first two allowed by the team all year.
The Yellow Jackets drew first blood in the 39th minute as freshman Ruben Niamien (Fredericksburg, Va. / Chancellor) found an open net after freshman Dylan Ogletree (La Plata, Md. / La Plata) circled around the keeper with the ball. It was Niamien's first goal of the season. It was also Ogletree's first assist. The score did not keep in R-MC's favor for long though, as St. Mary's found the equalizer just around a minute before halftime.
After the break, St. Mary's took the lead five minutes into the second half as a headed ball found the net. But the Yellow Jackets didn't take long to score the second equalizer of the game, as in the 57th minute, senior Bryan Lutz (Fairfax, Va. / W.T. Woodson) headed in his fourth goal of the season off of a corner kick from sophomore Andrew Griggs (Galloway, N.J. / Absegami). It was Grigg's first assist of the season.
In the 69th minute, both teams had a player sent off and the still-tied match had an increasingly tense feel as the game went to 10-on-10.
At minute 82, St. Mary's committed a foul and defender sophomore Paul Duffy (Salem, Va. / Salem) set up to take the free kick from just in front of the midfield stripe. His kick made it all the way to the goal where a St. Mary's defender attempted to clear it, but instead put it in the net for an own-goal. That would prove to be the game winner as the Yellow Jackets held off a mad rush by the Seahawks to get another equalizer in the closely fought match.
Randolph-Macon held the advantage in shots 11-8. The only shots on goal for each team were the ones that went in. Neither keeper recorded a save all game as many of the shots fell wide and high and both team defenses protected their goals, preventing the keepers from needing to do much work.
Outside of the goals scored, Duffy led the team in shots taken with three. Senior Jacob McHugh (Aberdeen, Md. / West Nottingham Academy) added two, as did sophomore Josh Beeker (Bel Air, Md. / Bel Air) and Griggs tallied one
Randolph-Macon is now 6-0 on the season. This game marked the first of four in a row at home for R-MC. The Yellow Jackets will play Catholic at Day Field on Wednesday night at 7:30 P.M, followed by Old Dominion Athletic Conference rivals the next two Saturdays.