MARS HILL, N.C. – Barry University’s men’s soccer team fell at the hands of No. 17 Mars Hill Thursday evening in the season opener for both squads, 3-1.
A South Region foe, Mars Hill (1-0-0) showed poise throughout the match and the Lions were able to wreck havoc from the start.
The Bucs (0-1-0) got off to an aggressive start in the early part of the match, but were caught off guard as Shadi Harb slipped behind the defense and found the back of the net in the ninth minute mark for the game’s first goal.
After falling behind, the No. 12 ranked Bucs attempted to find their rhythm offensively. In the 12th minute mark Thomas Coombes was able to put a header on goal off a Connor Randel cross but goalkeeper Zac Scott came up with the save.
The remainder of the half saw few scoring opportunities for either team, as the Bucs finished with just two shots on goal and Barry trailed Mars Hill at the intermission, 1-0.
Mars Hill continued to apply the pressure in the second half by seizing control of the pace and possession limiting the Bucs’ opportunities.
In the 59th minute mark, Andres Diaz found Alex Mullen and the Lions increased the deficit to 2-0 as they began to pull away. The second half was a similar story as the Lions’ defense was able to contain the Buccaneers without allowing many solid scoring opportunities.
Trailing by two, the Bucs found themselves just a step behind, not connecting on their passes and Mars Hill left little doubt by putting the game nearly away with a third goal.
Mullen scored his second goal of the match on a corner kick off the foot of Felipe Ferraro and the goal seemed to take the wind out of the Bucs’ sails.
Randel put Barry on the board in the 89th minute with his first goal of the season but the Bucs fell short on this night.
Barry was out-shot 22 to 11 in the match including a 15 to five Mars Hill advantage in the second half.
The Buccaneers last dropped its season opener nine years to the date when they lost to Chico State, 5-1 on Aug. 30, 2003.
Barry will travel to Greenville, Tenn. where they will face Tusculum College Saturday night, wrapping up this season opening road trip. Last fall, the Bucs defeated the Pioneers 2-1 in a double overtime thriller.
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. Saturday with live-stat and audio broadcast coverage will be available through the Barry University athletics website, GOBARRYBUCS.COM.
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
BUM.......................... 1 0 1
Mars Hill....................1 2 3
1. 9:45 MHCM Shadi Harb (1) (Alex Mullen)
2. 58:32 MHCM Alex Mullen (1) (Andres Diaz)
3. 61:57 MHCM Alex Mullen (2) (Felipe Ferraro) - Corner kick
4. 89:28 BUM Connor Randel (1) (Gustavo Rivera, Thomas Coombes)
Shots: BUM 11, Mars Hill 22
Saves: BUM 4 (Fred Perez 4), Mars Hill 2 (Zac Scott 2)