SALISBURY, Md. – The 15th annual Elmer Lord Soccer Classic was the start of the No. 19 Salisbury University men's soccer team's season, and the Sea Gulls showed that 2014 is a new year with high expectations after a blistering 10-1 victory over Patrick Henry College Friday afternoon.
Salisbury (1-0) came out scoring early and fast, putting up five goals in the opening 10 minutes of play. Guiding the attack to start the game was plenty of experience in goal scoring, as seniors Tanner East, Matt Greene and Benjamin Aryeetey recorded the first five finishes for the Sea Gulls.
Not needing any more than one shot to put the Gulls on the board, Salisbury found the back of the net in the second minute. Greene received a ball up the right sideline that gave the starting captain plenty of room to dribble. Pushing the ball into the 18-yard box and pulling the Sentinels' keeper out of the net, Greene played a low ball across the backside of the defense to meet the foot of East, who slashed in on the backside post for the first goal of the 2014 campaign.
Greene would see his first opportunity on goal just three minutes later. Similar to the setup Greene had for East on the first goal, Aryeetey played a through ball into the middle of the 18 where Greene would connect for a quick shot past the keeper.
With the trend of seniors scoring, Aryeetey got his chance in the seventh minute followed by another exactly one minute later. In the senior's first goal, junior Taylor Groginski sent a perfect ball from midfield over the top of the defense where Aryeetey would take off running. With a one-on-one opportunity with Patrick Henry's keeper, the Accra, Ghana native ripped a low, right finish to move the score to 3-0.
Just a minute later, Greene sent in a ball from the left corner where Aryeetey was surrounded by two defenders. With his tall 6-foot-1 advantage, Aryeetey leaped up to get his head on the ball, directing it into the bottom-right side of the net.
Greene would put his final touch on the game in the 11th minute. Junior Michael Feeney, with quick feet and clean ball work, made his way in through the defense on the right side of the 18-yard box. Clearing the way in front of him, Feeney was able to find a path to serve a low ball into the center of the box for Greene to connect on a high finish and a 5-0 advantage.
Sophomore Nathan Mattola added his first goal of the season with 15 minutes left in the half, before two newcomers on the team connected for a classic header finish. Freshman Brooks Zentgraf dribbled the ball to the right corner where he launched a high liner over the defense to the back post. Crashing in from the back side of the 18, junior Josh Burdin jumped up for a hard finish with his head.
Taking a 7-0 lead into the half, the defense for Salisbury held strong, not allowing a shot through 45 minutes of play. Seniors Kyle Westbrook, Logan Becker and Jeff Byrnes and junior Cy McNeill started the game, but additional help from juniors Zach Johnson and Danny Maskell and sophomores Kevin Miller and Nathaniel Eiben helped keep the backline a force to be reckoned with. Junior goalkeeper Drew Staedeli tended for 27 minutes in the first half, before switching out with senior Nial Krach who carried the Sea Gulls into the second half of play.
Some new faces on the team found a lot of playing team in the final 45 minutes. Freshman Matt Zimmerman made quite an impact early, scoring his first collegiate goal in the opening two minutes followed by an assist to freshman Jorge Sanchez, who connected on his first collegiate goal in the 57th minute.
The Sea Gulls added their 10th and final goal of the game with 15 minutes remaining. Sophomore Tyler Andrus found an opening on the right side of the 18-yard box, giving him room to dribble in for a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper. In quick fashion, the midfielder played a strong rip into the right side of the net to give Salisbury a 10-0 advantage.
The Sentinels would take one shot all game and made it count, scoring their only goal in the 85th minute.
Greene led the Salisbury attack with two goals and two assists for six points, as 12 different Gulls tallied points on the stat sheet. Greene's six points and two assists are career highs, while his two goals tie a career best.
The men take the field again Saturday at 2 p.m., to close out the Elmer Lord Classic, as Salisbury takes on the State University of New York at Brockport, who stunned St. Mary's College of Maryland in overtime, 1-0.