Senior's late magic sends Men's Soccer to 3-2 win over Montreat
By Matt Green
MONTREAT, N.C. -- Freshman Neshaun Senior scored on a rocket from 35 yards out with just over a minute to play to send Shorter University to a dramatic 3-2 victory over Montreat in each team's 2011 opener on Saturday night in Montreat, N.C.
Senior's first collegiate goal completed Shorter's comeback from a 2-1 second half deficit and made it the fourth year in a row that Shorter has managed victory on opening day.
Senior striker Garry Perks scored twice to move one goal back of former Hawk Sebastian Stihler for second on Shorter's all-time scoring list. Perks, who scored a career-high 12 goals last season, now has 20 for his career.
Shorter dominated the second half against Montreat, but needed Senior's late heroics to come away with the much-deserved win.
After Perks tied the game at 2 with a goal in the 80th minute, Shorter won a corner with under two minutes to play. The corner was cleared out to Senior just inside midfield, who took three dribbles and smoked a line drive into the upper corner of the net past Montreat goalkeeper Lucas Carvalho for the game-winner.
Perks scored the first goal of the match in the first half after being played in by Diego Gonzalez. Perks drilled his shot over Carvalho for a 1-0 Shorter lead.
Montreat equalized just before halftime, then took a 2-1 lead on Leo Walker's goal in the 70th minute.
Shorter, which has not dropped a season opener since a 2-1 loss to SCAD Savannah back in 2007, got tremendous play from freshman Irvin Espinal and an inspired performance in goal from senior Stan Nizamutdinov.
Nizamutdinov, a natural defender, lined up between the pipes for the first time in his college career and stopped eight shots to keep his Hawks in striking distance.
Shorter returns to action on Tuesday, Sept. 30 when it travels to Athens, Tenn., for a non-conference tilt with Tennessee Wesleyan College. Kickoff is set for 5 pm.