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Men’s Soccer Outlasts Virginia Wesleyan 2-1

Gunnar Copeland
Gunnar Copeland scored his first career goal to give Randolph a 1-0 lead (Photo by Roy Evans)

LYNCHBURG, Va.- The Randolph men's soccer team led throughout its contest with Virginia Wesleyan and fended off a Marlin rally as the WildCats won 2-1 on Saturday night at WildCat Stadium. The win evens the WildCats' record at 3-3-3 and moves them to 2-1-1 in the ODAC. The Marlins fall to 1-8 overall and 1-3 in the conference.

Randolph jumped ahead quickly just over a minute into the game when Adam Watson (Midlothian, Va./Midlothian) found Gunnar Copeland (Carrollton, Va./Smithfield) for the goal to give the home team a 1-0 lead. For Copeland, it was his first career score.

That lead would stay for the remainder of the half. WildCat starting goalkeeper Erick Cortez-Martinez (Winston-Salem, N.C./North Forsyth) had two saves in the frame to keep the Marlins off the board. Randolph only had one shot on goal in the half, which was by Copeland in the 10th minute.

In the second half, the Marlins upped the pressure on the WildCats but Cortez-Martinez was there to turn away a pair of chances. Randolph's luck finally turned in the 77th minute when a yellow card was given to Virginia Wesleyan's Austin McKenzie just outside of penalty box. Watson took the free kick for the 'Cats and punched it into the net to increase the Randolph lead to 2-0.

The Marlins finally countered at 78:32 when Ricky Perrault got one past Cortez-Martinez to make it 2-1. Virginia Wesleyan looked to score the potential game-tying goal but the WildCats were able to successfully defend two corner kicks in the final seven minutes to hold on to the victory.

Watson's goal gives him seven on the season. He has scored at least once in his last four games.

Cortez-Martinez finished with five saves on the night. His counterpart for the Marlins, Griffin Potter, had two saves.

Randolph claimed the win despite being outshot by the Marlins 12-6. Corner kicks were also in Virginia Wesleyan's favor 4-3.

The WildCats go on the road Wednesday to Hampden-Sydney. Game time will be at 7:00 p.m.