BUENA VISTA, Va. - The Salisbury University men's soccer team clinched a home-field playoff game with a 4-0 road Capital Athletic Conference victory at Southern Virginia University on Monday evening.
The game started with the Gulls (10-3-3, 5-0-3 CAC) dominating the possession but not being able to come up with the opening tally. Coach Gerry DiBartolo then went to the bench and got almost immediate results.
Salisbury finally put the first one into the Knights' goal as Michael Feeney took a free kick about 40 yards away from the Southern Virginia (1-16, 0-8 CAC) net. Feeney curled the ball into the middle of the 18 and Nathaniel Eiben headed it from the center of the net to inside the right post to move into a tie for the team lead in goals with his fourth of the season.
With just over 12 minutes remaining in the half, Southern Virginia had its best look of the half as it was awarded a free kick only two yards outside the Gulls' 18. The Knights' player ripped a powerful shot around the Salisbury wall that Drew Staedeli had to make a good save on, going to his left to punch the ball out of bounds.
Minutes later, after Staedeli broke up a corner kick, he booted the ball deep down field, that was then one touched off the head of Feeney up to freshman Ryan Gruss. Gruss controlled the ball just outside the 18 and went in one-on-one with the keeper. Gruss made a move to his right and tucked it past the keeper for his first-career goal.
With 2:11 to go in the first half. Another Gull notched his first-career goal. As Salisbury worked it down field and got near the Knights' 18, Feeney continued his helping ways, as he fed a through ball down to Daniel Kim inside the 18, who received the ball on the right side of the 18 and finished low to the left.
In the second half, DiBartolo went to junior keeper, Robert Fiackos who stopped the one shot that came his way.
At games end, Salisbury held the edge in shots (27-7), shots on goal (16-2), and corner kicks (11-2).
With the win, Salisbury moves into a tie with Wesley College for second place in the CAC. Wesley comes to Salisbury on Wednesday, October 28 with the winner earning a first-round bye in the CAC postseason tournament, and the loser hosting a home playoff game on Halloween.