Peterson Nets Two in Home Opener for Win Over KWU
(Photo courtesy of Bryan Garrett)
WILMORE, Ky. - The Eagles (1-1) wanted to start their home slate of games off on the right foot, so to speak, in Friday night's home opener against Kentucky Wesleyan College.
And start it out right is just what they did.
After playing to a 1-1 tie through 82 minutes of play, Jesse Peterson and Austin O'Brien would net goals just three minutes apart, in the 83rd and 86th minutes respectively, to break open a 3-1 win for the hosts.
The night started fairly quickly for the Eagles with Peterson's first goal in the 14th minute on a centering pass from O'Brien. But physical play and a relentless defensive effort from the Panthers kept the score at 1-0 headed into the break.
The Eagles noticeably outplayed the visitors through 45 minutes, though, outshooting them 12-5 over that same time frame.
"It wasn't from a lack of trying on our part," head coach Ben Andrews said following the game. "We just couldn't find the inside of the frame, or solve their keeper, in that first half."
Andrews referenced the seven saves made by Panthers' keeper Travis Rowland through the first half. He would finish with ten in the game but would take the loss.
The physical play continued through the second frame and the relentless Panthers' found some light between the Eagles' defenders. Ryan Brewer scored his first goal of the season and the first of the game for the Panthers to knot the game at one apiece in the 57th minute. Goalkeeper Griffin Appel (2 saves) got a piece of it, but could not redirect it outside the post.
The Eagles wouldn't let up, however, and finally broke through in the 83rd minute.
After two chances were stymied by the Panthers' keeper and a last ditch effort from a Panthers' defender, the Eagles found the room they needed to take the lead.
Junior Billy Congleton played a perfect ball behind the oppostion, allowing Peterson enough room to gather and bury the shot for the 2-1 lead. O'Brien would add his goal three minutes later, also off a helper from Congleton, with a rocket to the upper-right corner from just oustide the 18.
"It feels good to get a win, but now we have to get back to work," Andrews reflected. "We have to continue to improve with each day, each practice. Next up is Trevecca."
The Eagles will play their second of three straight home games against Trevecca Nazarene University on Tuesday (9/10). The opening whistle is slated for 5 p.m.