BUENA VISTA, Va. – Five second-half goals led the Salisbury University men's soccer team to a 5-1 victory over Southern Virginia University Saturday night in the Capital Athletic Conference opener.
The first half got off to a slow start, with each team recording three shots in the first 25 minutes. Southern Virginia (3-6, 0-1 CAC) was able to break through on the first corner kick of the game in the 30th minute. Matt Diede came streaking down the middle of the box and headed Jeremy Wilson's corner kick into the left side of the net to give the Knights a 1-0 lead.
Salisbury (4-5, 1-0 CAC) held an 8-5 advantage in shots and 3-1 edge in corners in the first half, but was unable to connect.
The Sea Gulls broke through 10 minutes into the second half as Matt Hawkins sent a pass across the box to Nick Njuki, who headed the ball to the top of the box. Sophomore Ryan Spadin timed the header just right and connected on a beautiful volley that went into the bottom right corner of the goal to tie the match 1-1.
Hawkins gave the maroon and gold the lead in the 65th minute as he got past the last defender and slipped a shot by the keeper on the right side after receiving the ball from Brooks Zentgraf.
Less than three minutes later in the 67th minute Zentgraf extended the lead to 3-1 as he headed in a Dolph Hegewisch corner kick. The scoring wasn't over yet, as Njuki scored his first career goal in the 71st minute after the Southern Virginia goalie was unable to clear the ball, giving Njuki an open net to score on.
The Sea Gulls capped the scoring outburst on a three-on-two breakaway in the 73rd minute. Hegewisch found Dylan Parks, whose shot was saved by the keeper. The ball bounced back to Stephen White, who shot it past the goalie and a defender waiting at the net to give Salisbury a 5-1 advantage. The four goals came within 7:49, and it was the second time this season the Sea Gulls have scored four or more goals in the second half.
Salisbury outshot Southern Virginia 15-1 in the second half and held a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks. Goalkeeper Trevor Brookhart needed to make just one save for the second straight match to secure the victory.
The Sea Gulls host Catholic University of America for their last non-conference match of the season. The game is scheduled to start at 4 p.m., on Wednesday, September 27.