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Benitez scores twice, Mustangs get first win

By: Dayne Turner

Sophomore Kevin Benitez scored the first two goals of his career and powered Stevenson to their first win of the season.

Sophomore Kevin Benitez scored the first two goals of his career and powered Stevenson to their first win of the season.

Andrew Bordelon has captured that first victory as the head coach of the Stevenson men’s soccer team. Against Wilkes his team held a 3-2 lead at halftime after both teams exploded offensively and his defense took over from there to preserve the score at the end of the game.

“I expected the guys to respond the way that they did. I was proud of the way they played,” Bordelon said. “It wasn’t easy to see out the result, but what I told them at halftime ‘we put ourselves in this spot, we gift-wrapped them two goals, the game should have been over at halftime but now we’re in a fight.’ There is a lot to be learned from that

Sophomore Kevin Benitez led the Mustangs with two goals, his first two of his career. In just the third minute he brought the ball from midfield down to the endline on the right side. From there he moved back out into the box, cleared his defender and lofted it over the Wilkes goalkeeper from the left side and into the goal.

In the 37th minute he had another spectacular goal. His initial shot was blocked by a Wilkes defender but he collected the rebound in the corner of the box, worked to clear his defenders and ripped it from the 16-yards out into the top right corner of the net, over a diving goalkeeper.

“Kevin is a guy who has a lot of ability,” Bordelon said. “You always knew he was going to get something and I think once he gets a couple his confidence is really going to start going and really can get a few more from here.”

His second goal proved to be the game winner. In between his two goals the Mustangs scored another and Wilkes scored back-to-back to tie the game.

In the 10th minute Wilkes committed a foul inside the box and set James Vess up for a penalty kick. He scored to five Stevenson an early 2-0 lead in the first half.

Wilkes got on the board when Camry Huff found Michael Hasbrouck and he nailed it through the net in the 17th minute. Six minutes later the Colonels tied it up. Hasbrouck had his initial shot stopped by Stevenson goalkeeper Michael Tringali. However, Huff hit the bottom right corner from inside the box off the rebound.

Throughout the second half the game became much more physical. There were five cards issued on the second half with Stevenson being dealt two and Wilkes getting booked three times. But neither team could score as the Mustangs held on for a 3-2 victory.

Stevenson will remain home after earning their first win and will host Roanoke on Tuesday at 7 pm.

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Dayne Turner

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