Louis Gorman scored the lone goal of the match off of a Sean Lockett throw-in in the 33rd minute and University of Mount Olive survived playing a man down for the final 28 minutes as the Trojans defeated UNC Pembroke 1-0 in non-conference men's soccer Thursday at Amon Field. The win was the Trojans' first over UNC Pembroke in six years, snapping a five-match losing skid against the Braves. The contest was the season opener for both teams.
Mount Olive (1-0-0) earned a throw-in on the right sideline inside the UNC Pembroke third. Lockett took the throw-in adjacent to the top of the 18 and sent the ball into the box. Gorman won the 50-50 ball and put home a header from 10 yards out into the left corner of the goal to get the Trojans on the scoreboard at the 32:35 mark.
Lockett, from Normanton, England, said it was a play he and country-mate Gorman have worked on.
"Louis and I have practiced that play before and it worked out for us tonight," said Lockett, a junior defender who also played much of the match up top and in the midfield. "It's a big English thing and it paid off with a victory."
Trojan goalkeeper Nick Bernsdorf, who missed all of last season with an injury, recorded four saves in his fifth career shutout. Mount Olive had to play a man down starting in the 62nd minute after matching yellow cards on both teams resulted in Gorman's second yellow of the match.
Bernsdorf and the Trojans survived three corner kicks in a span of 83 seconds after the matching yellows. Bernsdorf made two of his saves in the final 11 minutes and prevented three shot opportunities after covering the ball in the box.
UNC Pembroke (0-1-0) had its final opportunity on a service to the box in the 87th minute, but the play was flagged for offside. A Braves foul just above the box with 13 seconds remaining led to a Lockett direct kick and UNCP was unable to get the ball past midfield before time expired.
"Everybody muscled in and we stuck together as a team," said Lockett. "Everybody played well."
The Braves had the first three shots of the match, including a 20-yard shot by Sam Miles that just missed wide left. Mount Olive went on to outshoot UNC Pembroke 7-4 in the first half and 13-10 for the match. UNCP goalkeeper Kenneth Perkinson finished with three saves.
Mount Olive's last win against UNC Pembroke was a 1-0 overtime victory October 8, 2008. The win was the Trojans' third in a row over the Braves.
Thursday's contest was the first of three consecutive home matches to start the season for Mount Olive. The Trojans play host to former Conference Carolinas member Queens Sunday evening in a non-conference match-up. Match time is 6 p.m. at Amon Field.