SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury University men's soccer team opened up its Capital Athletic Conference slate with a 3-0 victory over Sothern Virginia University on Saturday afternoon at the SU Soccer Complex in a physical contest.
In front of a loud, lively crowd, Brooks Zentgraf got things going early for the Gulls.
Freshman Dolph Hegewisch was streaking down the right side with possession and just above the top of the box, slid a through pass down to Zentgraf. Zentgraf, on the far right side, took a low shot with his right foot that went across the face of the net and found the left-side netting. The 11th minute strike was Zentgraf's second goal of the season.
Zentgraf's tally was the lone score in the first half, not without each team having its fair share of opportunities. At the half, the Gulls had taken nine shots, while the Knights fired off eight, including three on net that keeper Daniel Brennan smothered.
Brennan ended the contest with five saves to make it 223:03 minutes he has played between the posts this season for the maroon and gold without conceding a goal.
Zentgraf's first half tally would be Salisbury's only conventional goal on the day as Hegewisch got on the board in the 50th minute due to a fortunate bounce for the Gulls.
Leslie Umunna had the ball and was looking to attack and pushed a through pass up field to Hegewisch that went just out of his range and the Knights' keeper was the first to get a touch on the ball near the top of the 18. The touch was a powerful boot bound for the Gull's defensive half, which instead hit a charging Hegewisch in the midsection at point blank and went directly into the back on the net.
Adding to the offensive oddities, Salisbury got another goal in the 73rd minute that was credited as an own goal against the Knights.
Matthew Hawkins was carrying the ball deep down the right side of the Knights' defensive zone and threw a low cross intended for a Gull's foot. However, a Southern Virginia defender was struck with the ball and it had eyes for the net as it went in for the Gulls' third of the day.
Ending the day with 16 shots, including nine on frame, Salisbury had several chances to add to their total. The closest attempt came in the 78th minute as a Salisbury cross was broken up by Southern Virginia, but the result was a bouncing ball that went straight for Joshua Lord 15 yards out. Lord unleashed a powerful shot that Knights' keeper Keenan Carroll was able to make a quick, reactionary stop on.
A physical contest throughout, Salisbury had 12 fouls, while Southern Virginia had nine. Also, Salisbury received three yellow cards against four for the Knights.
Salisbury returns to play on Wednesday, September 28 when it will take a break from CAC play and travel to take on the Catholic University of America. That game is set for 4 p.m.