HARTSVILLE, S.C. – The Coker University men's soccer team lost a heartbreaking match in double overtime against the No. 25 Wingate University Bulldogs on Wednesday (Sept. 18) by a score of 3-2. After leading for most of the match, the Cobras were unable to hang on as a red card in the 72nd minute proved costly.
Coming into tonight the Cobras had won two consecutive matches against Belmont Abbey College and the University of Mount Olive. Freshman Jacques Fokam-Sandeu was the story of the night for the Cobras as he had his way with the Wingate defense. Fokam-Sandeu gave Coker the early 1-0 lead in the seventh minute, as Niall Ratcliffe was able to set him up for the goal.
Despite the Cobras having the 1-0 advantage heading into halftime, the Bulldogs were winning the battle of possession. They outshot the Cobras 10-1 in the first half, with the one shot being Fokam-Sandeu's goal. Goalkeeper Guilermo Falo Ejea had another stellar performance with 11 saves on the night to keep Coker in the lead. Defenders Robi Obrstar, Morgan Ratcliffe, Adam Garner, and Steffen Husum commanded the Cobra back line exceptionally well in containing the Wingate offensive attack.
In the 55th minute of the second half, Fokam-Sandeu stole possession of the ball around midfield, and broke free past the Bulldog defense for a scoring opportunity. Defender Joshua Ochsenbein slide tackled Fokam-Sandeu from behind, drawing a yellow card and awarding the Cobras a penalty kick. Fokam-Sandeu placed it perfectly in the lower left corner of the net giving Coker a 2-0 lead.
However, momentum switched in the 72nd minute when sophomore Jonathan Partlow was assigned his second yellow card of the night, resulting in a red card and his disqualification from the match. This ended up being the defining moment of the night as Wingate would go on to score two more goals to force overtime, and the match-clinching goal in the second overtime period to win 3-2.
"I am super proud of our team's effort tonight," said head coach Michael Antoniewicz. "We executed our game plan perfectly, just didn't get the result we wanted. Our focus now is to bounce back with a win on Saturday."
The Cobras will be back in action on Saturday (Sept. 21) against the Shaw University Bears in a non-conference match. Kickoff is set for 6:00 p.m. at the Coker Athletic Field.