Lexington, Ky. – The Transylvania men's soccer team continued its stirring homestand to begin its 2016 season with a 2-0 victory at home against the Trine University Thunder on Friday night at Pat Deacon Stadium.
With the win, the Pioneers notched a 2-0-1 start to their season, their best start since the 2012-2013 season in which Transylvania went 16-2-2.
Transylvania blistered the opposition's net, outshooting Trine 25 to 7 in shots on goal for the evening. The continued pelting of Trine's goal led to breakthrough after breakthrough for the Pioneers, whose opportunities came early and frequently.
A fast paced game played amidst a muggy late afternoon had the Pioneers on the board just 10 minutes into the game. A breakaway for the Pioneers found freshman forward Alex Shkraba setting up freshman defender Jason Murillo for a pointed strike and a 1-0 Pioneers lead in the ninth minute of the match.
The moment signified an instant culmination of an early attacking pace that Transylvania played with all evening as the early goal galvanized a Pioneers side that was rewarded for its furious play.
While the Pioneers only scored one more goal for the rest of the match, the net felt open and the momentum favored the home team. Shkraba nearly got into the action again in the 17th minute as a surefire shot clanged off of the post and the Thunder stayed within reach.
The Pioneers headed to the halftime break up 1-0, but continued to play with a relentless passion that lifted them to their third straight positive result at home. Transylvania continued to maneuver its way into the Trine box, and the payoff occurred in the 63rd minute, as junior midfielder Riley Calhoon was tripped up going to goal.
Calhoon was awarded a penalty kick, and the junior nestled the ball squarely in the right bottom corner of the net to put Transylvania firmly ahead, 2-nil on Trine, and Calhoon's third goal of the young 2016 season.
The final 25 minutes of the contest became a display of the Pioneers protecting their house, yielding little clearance to a Trine team that endured a dwindling array of ideas.
Goalkeeper Chandler Gaunce picked up the win for Transylvania (2-0-1) who now move to a Sunday match with the Alma College Scots, who won convincingly in the nightcap over Franklin College, 3-0.
The battle between Transylvania and Alma is set for 12:00 p.m. noon on Sunday at Pat Deacon Stadium.
The match also kicked off the weekend-long Mary Ann Waford Memorial Tournament, a classic named in honor of the late grandmother of Transylvania men's head coach Matt Vogel, who battled multiple sclerosis for over 25 years and had an indelible impact on her family and community through the duration of her life. An MS Society tent was present during both games of the Memorial Tournament.
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