Senior Daniel Shirzad netted a hat trick as the Cobras (3-0-2 Overall, 1-0-1 Conf.) picked up their first league win. The defending Conference Carolinas Tournament Champions are undefeated since the Knights (0-5, 0-2) defeated Coker, 2-1, in last year’s regular season finale. The Cobras are 5-0-3 since that game on October 31, 2009.
The two teams traded first half goals on free kicks. Shirzad opened up the scoring with a header in the 11th minute on a sophomore Rommel Fondin (Palm Bay, Fla.) free kick. The Knights answered in the 30th minute on an identical type of play. Escobar sent in a long service pass on a free kick that was headed in by Smith for the equalizer.
SAPC held a 9-5 shot edge at the midway point but Coker took 12-of-19 shots attempted in the second half. Shirzad scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 57th minute, sending a rebounded junior Chris Dixon shot to the back twine from close range. Shirzad completed his hat trick in the 64th minute, scoring on a crossing pass from freshman Tyler Staub.
Freshman Alex Bracken iced the game in the 76th minute, stealing a clearing pass by the Knights defense before skillfully scoring on the 1-on-1 against St. Andrews sophomore goalkeeper Andrew Pelfrey.
Coker finished with a slim 17-16 shot advantage but were whistled offsides nine times compared to none by the Knights. SAPC committed twice as many fouls, 16-8, and only put five of its 16 shots on frame.
Sophomore goalie James Sweeney made two saves in the winning effort before leaving with an injury in the 73rd minute. Senior Ryan Lewis successfully protected the Cobras goal for the final 17-plus minutes with two stops.
Pelfrey recorded a game-high seven saves. Smith and Escobar accounted for half of the Knights shots, each taking four stabs.
St. Andrews will host Conference Carolinas rival Belmont Abbey College in the middle game of its current three-game home stand on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Regionally ranked Royals defeat SAPC
CHARLOTTE—St. Andrews Presbyterian College was unable to go on the road and pull off an upset as host and No. 10 NSCAA/Hendrickcars.com Southeast Region ranked Queens University of Charlotte won 3-0 in Conference Carolinas men’s soccer action Saturday evening at the Queens Sports Complex at Marion Diehl Park.
Junior Bryan White scored a pair of first half goals to lead the Royals (2-1 Overall, 1-0 Conf.) to a victory in their league and home opener. St. Andrews allowed a season-low three goals but the Knights offense was held scoreless for a third time this season.
Senior A.J. Roberts led the Knights with two shots. Sophomore goalie Andrew Pelfrey recorded four saves.
White put the Royals on the scoreboard after firing a shot from the right side of the box. White’s second goal of the season connected with the far corner of the net at 28:46. Junior Patrick Morgan earned the assist on the play. White came back in the 41st minute of play to score his third goal of the season. Junior Jonathan Grajeda fed White a long pass from midfield and White booted the ball in to the back of the net from the right side.
Queens entered the second half with a 2-0 lead holding strong on the defensive end. In the 60th minute senior Jon Rektorli broke away up the field feeding the ball to classmate Justin Ferguson who gave the Royals a 3-0 lead. Ferguson’s shot came from inside the box.
The Royals outshot the Knights 15 to eight, and attempted all six of the games corner kicks. Queens was whistled for 11 fouls, while the Knights had 16. Giancarlo Aristondo recorded the shutout in goal with two saves.
Seniors Dennis Schardt and William Williams had the Knights only shots on frame.