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Soccer wins Mike Gibbs Tournament to start 2016 season

Players celebrated after Milan Kovac’s first goal of the game. Photo by Lili Weinstein

Game 1

By Will Weber

Milan Kovacs, whose four goals last year are the most of any returning player, scored two goals in the home opener against Winthrop Friday night, leading the Ospreys to a 3-0 win in front of 702 fans.

The Eagles had no answer for the speed and athleticism of the Ospreys, who dominated possession and relentlessly attacked Winthrop’s back line.

“[I said] we were going to be more athletic than we’ve been in the past and I think it showed,” Head Coach Derek Marinatos said. “Our quickness was there and our guys looked fresh.”

First-game jitters plagued the Ospreys on two scoring opportunities early in the first half. After slipping behind the Eagles’ defense and into the penalty box, Adrian Nunez took an uncontested shot that ricocheted off the left post. Minutes later, the Ospreys attack pulled the keeper from the goal, but Cormac Begley didn’t have an angle to shoot and his pass was intercepted.

With nine minutes left in the half, Ivan Castro delivered a perfect pass up the left side of the field into the penalty box, and Kovacs was able to outrun his defender and tap the ball between the legs of the charging goalie for the Ospreys first goal of the game and the 2016 season.

With less than 10 minutes to play, Kovacs sealed the win with a rocket into the left corner off a corner kick from Begley that never touched the ground.

Junior-college transfer Micah Smoak added another goal in the second half on a penalty kick, after Nunez was fouled in the box.

Tensions grew between the teams after Smoak’s goal in minute 64, and Winthrop received three of its five yellow cards for the game in the final 20 minutes for overly-aggressive tackles. Winthrop toed the line between physical and dirty throughout the game, but the Ospreys kept their composure for the most part.

Junior Tord Pedersen and Senior Juanes Fajardo, players battling to become the full-time goalkeeper, each played a half and gave up no goals. Pedersen got the start and was replaced at halftime.

Game 2

By Joslyn Simmons

In the second game of the Mike Gibbs Tournament Sunday night, the Ospreys tied UNC Greensboro 2-2 to win the tournament for the third time.

The three goal differential from Friday’s game allowed the Ospreys to win the tiebreaker for the title.

The Ospreys held a two goal lead for the first 54 minutes, thanks to goals from midfielder Micah Smoak and defender Aidan D’Mello.

UNC Greensboro would not leave Hodges Stadium without goals of its own.

In a quick ten-minute offensive burst in the second period of play, UNC Greenboro kicked two goals to tie the game.

Greensboro’s Elayas Omar missed his opportunity in overtime for the game-winning goal after his shot went high.

For the remainder of the match, both teams locked down defensively to close the game tied.

The Ospreys travel to North Carolina next to face Campbell Friday night.

For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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