WENHAM, Mass.—Gordon Men's Soccer pulled out a 2-1 win over Husson in the opening round of the North Shore Invitational on Friday night at the Brigham Athletic Complex. The Fighting Scots dominated possession for much of the night, but Husson's quick counter nearly tied the game in the waning moments in thrilling season opener for both squads.
The Fighting Scots did not waste any time to get the offense started, scoring just 1:23 into the first period.
Gordon immediately controlled possession off of the opening tip and methodically worked its way down the middle of the field. Senior Caleb Cole (Coatesville, Pa.) found space in center field and sent a through ball in between two defenders to catch Matt Chartier (Concord, N.H.) in stride about 20 yards out. The rookie took a quick turn and passed the keeper to the left, as he approached, into the lower corner.
The host Scots kept the pressure turned up for a majority of the first half, holding a 13-2 shot advantage over the Eagles through 45 minutes. Husson keeper Cody Gross (Fair Lawn, N.J.) made four stops in the opening half, but none bigger than one on a strike by Tyler Modzeleski (Cazenovia, N.Y.) in the 21st minute.
Gordon's relentless pressure continued in the second half, but the Eagles' bend but don't break defense held firm under duress. Gross made two diving stops on shots close to the net to keep the game at 1-0 for the first 20 minutes of the second period.
The Fighting Scots gave themselves a two-goal cushion in the 65th minute directly off of a hard foul from 30 yards out. Cole took the free kick and curled a ball over the top of the defense, finding freshman Mark Smith (Cincinnati, Ohio) running down the seam, who sent a screaming header into the right side of the net.
Husson made things interesting in the 71st minute when a hard tackle at the edge of the 18-yard box gave the Eagles a penalty-kick opportunity. Josh Bean (Ellsworth, Maine) beat keeper Josh Spoonhour (Greencastle, Pa.) to the upper left side to make it a one-goal margin.
The Fighting Scots nearly put another one in several times during the final 20 minutes of regulation, but the crossbar and Gross denied the Gordon attack from increasing its lead.
Husson nearly pulled off crazy equalizer in the final 15 seconds when Gordon's defense had a temporary lapse in the back third. The Eagles had two point blank chances, but Spoohour made a diving stop to preserve the victory.
Gross made 10 saves in the game as Gordon put 12 of its 26 attempts on frame. Spoonhour made a save in each half, but none more important than the tip save right before the buzzer.
"I thought the boys did tremendously well tonight," Husson coach Gavin Penny said. "Learning a new system and style of play takes time and the boys showed tonight that they have adapted very well. Derek (Potteiger, Gordon Head Coach) has a good side there and I thought we showed great character to come back from two down and if not from a worldly save there in the dying seconds the outcome may have been more favorable to us."
The Fighting Scots will play host to Carthage on Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Red Men scored four unanswered goals to beat Endicott 4-1 in Beverly on Friday. Husson will take on the Gulls with a 5 p.m. tipoff.