Carter Smith(Grimsley Hs), goalkeeper for the Randolph College Wildcats finds his team on a roll right now….Since Smith and Randolph rolled through Greensboor and tripped up the Guilford College Quakers, they have run off five straight wins and now sit at (11-0-1) on the 2013 season…
Randolph 11-0-1….#1 men’s team in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference….Carter Smith top GK in the ODAC….Randolph ranked #16 in the nation, in the most recent NCAA DIII poll….
The most recent news on the ODAC’s top team, Randolph College, coming out of Salem, Virginia this past weekend….
SALEM, Va. — It took overtime, but Randolph broke through to earn a huge road win, vaulting the team to first place in men’s soccer.
Roanoke (9-2-1, 5-1-1 ODAC) had the pressure early, with a few odd-man rushes, but had nothing to show for it. Just over seven minutes into the game, senior goalkeeper Carter Smith (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) made a tremendous kick save on a point-blank shot from less than ten yards out in the middle of the box, earning respectful recognition from both fan bases.
Off a corner kick five minutes later, another close-range shot found the hands of Smith, who didn’t allow a rebound. Moments later, Smith made a diving save on low shot aimed just inside the post.
“We came out flat and Roanoke really took it to us early,” head coach Bryan Waggoner said. “Carter made three really big saves to keep us in it.”
Once the WildCats (11-0-1, 6-0 ODAC) picked up the pressure, the shots finally came. Randolph’s first that made it on goal was an absolute rocket off the foot of senior John Vecchietti (Annandale, Va./W.T. Woodson).
Classmate Corey Sindle (Gloucester, Va./Gloucester) took a pass and flicked it over a defender to break free, then laid the ball off to Vecchietti in the middle of the field.
The midfielder unfurled a laser across the cage, beating the keeper, who had no chance to react.
Roanoke responded quickly, after a hard collision on the edge of the box drew a yellow card and a penalty kick. Patrick Bain converted to level the score.
Responding, a great combination play set up senior Jake Hood (New Market, Md./Linganore), just outside the six, but the shot just missed the cage.
Later, Vecchietti once again found space in the center of the field, but his shot, the last of the first half, was stopped, sending the teams into intermission level.
In the second half, Vecchietti made his mark on the defensive end, cutting out a centered ball that was Roanoke’s first good chance of the frame. A minute later, the ball was back down at that end, but a great look was snuffed out once again by Smith.
Smith finished with a season-high 10 saves.
With one second left in regulation, senior John Adams (Lynchburg, Va./E.C. Glass) had a chance for a rare regulation walk-off goal, but his shot hit the post as the final horn went off.
In overtime, Sindle had the first two shots, one saved and one high, before drawing a foul 30 yards out.
Senior Nick Cornell (Front Royal, Va./Warren Co.) lined up to take the ensuing free kick, which was high and short, bringing the keeper off his line. After a fumble of the ball, senior Will Wolf (Goldsboro, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) cleaned up the mess to give Randolph the win.
“I just wanted to put some pressure on the keeper in case he dropped it,” Wolf said. “Luckily he did and I was able to hit it in.”
With the win, Randolph, ranked No. 17 and No. 25 in the two national polls, moves into first place in the ODAC at 6-0, passing Roanoke. The Maroons were ranked ahead of the WildCats in the D3soccer.com poll, at No. 22, this week.
The win also breaks the program’s record for longest winning streak, which is now nine. This year’s squad already bested its all-time best unbeaten streak.
After the game, Waggoner spoke of the importance of the win, saying, “We’re just worried about each game. This is a great game to prepare us for the ODAC tournament and hopefully the NCAA tournament in the future because this is the caliber team we’ll be playing late in the year.”