By Max Sass, Sports Editor
"I never thought they were going to score to be honest," men's soccer head coach Richard Nuttall about the University of North Carolina – Wilmington. The Seahawks of UNCW did score, four times in fact, against the Pride when Hofstra visited Carolina on Saturday.
Nuttall's team held the Seahawks to a scoreless draw in the first half, but conceded an unusual goal less than seven minutes into the second half. Sophomore Adam Janowski, starting in place of Greg Cumpstone because of his ability to kick further than Cumpstone, attempted a clear but kicked it right into the chest of a Seahawks attacker. The ball ricocheted off of Etienne Boulanger and into the goal for a 1-0 UNC lead.
"It was a bit of a freak goal really," Nuttall said. "I think that shocked us a little bit."
Nuttall was pleased with the first 70 minutes of play from the Pride, including a flurry of corner kicks between the sixty-eighth and seventieth minutes.
"We had three or four chances to equalize, which we didn't take," Nuttall said.
The Pride once again was kept off the scoreboard and has only scored four goals in eight games this season. Through eight games last year, the Pride had scored 13 goals.
In the seventy-seventh minute, UNCW tallied their second goal as Devon Carroll slipped past the Pride defense and knocked a shot past Janowski.
"I think the second goal totally killed us," Nuttall said. "I was very upset with the last 20 minutes of the game."
The Seahawks would put in two more goals before the ninety minutes ended to finish the CAA opener with a 4-0 victory over the Pride. The Pride falls to 2-4-2 on the season and 0-1 in conference. Nuttall knows the season is far from over though.
"It's a bit of a journey, but I think we've got the ability," he said, "but the actual make up of the team and our performing is not there yet. We need to keep having good practices."
Georgia State is up next for the Pride, who according to Nuttall, desperately needs a win. "All I want is a win," he said. "I don't care if it goes off someone's eye or ear, as long as we win." The Panthers are 4-2-2 and 1-1 in CAA play.
The Pride's offensive drought must come to an end if it wants to compete in the CAA. Nuttall thinks the offensive troubles may come to an abrupt end. "I think one game we're going to simply explode," he said.
For that to happen though, one player will have to start scoring. The most likely candidates are forwards Brett Carrington, a junior, and Johannes Grahn, a senior. Carrington has one goal on the season, scored against Iona. He has 11 career goals, including seven as a freshman. Grahn has yet to score on the 2010 season but has 20 career goals, including 10 in his marvelous freshman season.