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March 23, 2023 2:04 pm

UMO men’s soccer dominates in win over King

MOUNT OLIVE – After featuring five different goal scorers Oct. 8, the University of Mount Olive men’s soccer team cruised past King by a 6-1 margin in Conference Carolinas action at Amon Field.

With the win, the Trojans improved to 8-5 this season with a 5-3 record in league play. Mount Olive currently sits third in the conference standings with 15 points behind Converse and Chowan, which tied 2-2. Meanwhile, the Tornado dropped to 2-7-2 overall with a 1-5-1 mark in conference action.

After pressuring the attacking half of the pitch in the opening 15-plus minutes, UMO got on the board on a goal from sophomore Luka Perendija off an assist from teammate Christen Lugo-Elibox to take a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. Under a minute later, freshman Pablo Herrera tallied his first collegiate goal on a header after a free-kick was sent into the box by junior Walter Gomez for a 2-0 lead.

In the second half, Mount Olive was awarded a penalty in the 53rd minute and senior Trevor Berk scored after slotting the ball into the left-corner of the net to put UMO ahead 3-0. At the 58:49 mark, Berk drove the ball toward the 18-yard box before delivering a cross to senior Ethan Willie, who headed it into the net for his third goal of the year to stretch the lead to 4-0. After multiple substitutions, the Tornado was able to trim the deficit to 4-1 on a goal by sophomore Kenneth Walton at the 73:24 mark. The Trojans quickly restored the four-goal advantage after sophomore Chris Padilla scored on a header off a free-kick from freshman Joao Barboza Filho in the 83rd minute. Padilla would add his second goal of the match just under two minutes later after receiving a through ball from Lugo-Elibox to take a 6-1 lead.

Sophomore goalkeeper Axel Engine earned the victory after recording two saves on three shots faced in 67:49 minutes of play, while fellow sophomore Ryan Schmitt finished the final 22-plus minutes of the match.

Mount Olive out-shot King by a 32-5 margin, including an 11-3 lead in shots on goal, while also posting an 8-1 edge in corner kicks.