BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. -- The start to the 2008 season didn't go exactly the way Winthrop would have liked after falling 1-0 in double-overtime to Belmont in the opening game of the Soccer For A Cure Classic at Gardner-Webb.
The game-winning goal came on a mistake by the Winthrop defense. A Belmont defender played a ball over the top of the defense to Dan Meacock running on to it. Winthrop goalie Patrick Mitrovich left the 18-yard box as if he were going to clear the ball, but misplayed the bounce and the ball sailed over his head toward the net. Meacock beat the Eagle defenders to the ball and placed the ball into the open net for the golden goal.
"This is one of the most disappointing opening games that I can remember," said Winthrop coach Rich Posipanko. "Our intensity, our work rate, our will to win and our decision making was very poor today. Belmont had a lot to do with this. They were very well organized defensively, and deserved the win today. We played well in the preseason, so I am trying to understand how we lacked so many things today, especially being the first game of the season."
Despite going down a man in the 89th minute after Henry Kalungi was hit with a red card, Winthrop (0-1) nearly ended the game in regulation. Magnus Leung played a nice give-and-go pass behind the Bruins' defense to Stephen Nsereko. Nsereko then placed a ball on frame that was cleared away by a defender inside the 6-yard box with just 20 seconds remaining in regulation.
Belmont (1-0) also had a chance in regulation to end the game with just 8:30 to go as Mete Ozkan found himself on a 1v1, but Mitrovich made the save to keep the game tied.
In the first overtime, Winthrop had a great opportunity as Michael Luk beat a Belmont player and found himself with a two-on-one. As Luk moved the ball upfield, the Bruins' defense recovered, so Luk laid the ball off square to Rafael Aruajo at the top of the 18-yard box. Aruajo's one-touch shot sailed over the top left corner.
• WOMEN'S SOCCER -- The Winthrop women's soccer team opened up their 2008 season on a positive note as they defeated Tennessee Tech 3-2 at Eagle Field.
The Eagles improved to 1-0 on the year, while the Golden Eagles dropped to 0-1 with the loss.
Tennessee Tech took an early 1-0 lead as Rebecca Ross crossed a ball into the box, but the attempted header by the Winthrop defender sailed into the net for the own goal.
Winthrop would come back in the 36th minute of play as freshman Ann Lutzenkirchen took the deflected cross from junior Jessica Hausfeld and snuck it past the goalie to tie the game at 1-1.
The Eagles would go ahead for good in the 49th minute when senior Chelsea White went unassisted down the field and scored her first goal of the season to give Winthrop a 2-1 lead.
Winthrop will be back in action on Sunday when they host Georgia State at 1 p.m.
• VOLLEYBALL -- The Winthrop volleyball team kicked off their 2008 season downing the Norfolk State Spartans 25-10, 25-12, 25-12 in the first match of the Wake Forest Invitational.
The Eagles were led on offense by junior right-side hitter Kelly Taylor who led the Eagles with 10 kills and three aces. Sophomore outside hitter Kellie Sellers and sophomore middle hitter Sara Felts each recorded six kills in the victory. Freshman libero Janice Rivera was the top contributor defensively with 10 digs. Sophomore setter Kelsey Hall led the Eagles with 29 assists.
"We had a great first match," coach Sally Polhamus said. "It was great to see someone else on the other side of the net than a teammate."