BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- The Montreat Cavaliers opened their 44th season of intercollegiate men's soccer with their largest home and season opening victory in modern day history with a dominating, 7-0, win over Warren Wilson (N.C.) on Saturday afternoon at Howard Fisher Memorial Field in front of 157 enthusiastic fans.
Freshman Lewis Jones scored two goals and added an assist in his first collegiate match to lead the way for the Cavs and fellow freshman, Daniel Wolf grabbed the game winning goal to open things for first-year Head Coach David Knapp's squad that saw the opening three goals scored by the pair of freshman.
LaBelle who transitioned from a midfield position in the spring to defense made early trouble for the Owls as he bust down the flanks time and again. The work of the Hendersonville, N.C., native paid off when he found Marburg, Germany, nativeDaniel Wolf at the top of the penalty area for a tidy volley through traffic.
The 5-foot-11 attacker placed the volley to the far corner and gave Montreat its first goal under Head Coach David Knapp in the 19th minute.
After a foul by Warren Wilson in their own half, Somerset West, South Africa, native Dylan MacFarlanenstood over the ball and served a dangerous ball towards the penalty spot where he found Lewis Jones.
The Liverpool, England, native rose above his marker and smashed a header into the net giving the Cavs a 2-0 lead in the 31st minute.
Jones wasted little time before netting his second collegiate goal when received a pass from LaBelle who beat two defenders before slotting it to the crashing freshman who made easy work to give Montreat a 3-0 lead in the 33rd minute.
The Cavaliers closed the opening half with a dominating 3-0 lead over the visiting Owls as they held an 18-2 advantage in shots and a 4-1 lead in corner kicks over Warren Wilson.
To open the second half Head Coach David Knapp made five changes to his lineup but the Cavaliers continued their high level of play.
The 6-foot-0 Abuja, Nigeria, native put the finishing touch to the assist giving Montreat a 4-0 lead in the 56th minute.
Jones continued his work off the ball in the second half as Julio Cuellar held the ball on the right wing as the freshman burst past him with an overlapping run.
The San Salvador, El Salvador, native Cuellar sent the Cavaliers point leader down the line as Jones found Adrian Erwin on a pointed cross at the back post.
A Mandeville, Jamaica, native, Erwin put the finishing touch from eight-yards to give the Boys in White a commanding 5-0 lead in the 65th minute.
Substitute Ezra White came on and made quick work to score his first and second collegiate goals of his career and ensure the Cavaliers their largest victory in a season opening match in modern history and their largest margin of victory since defeating Bluefield (Va.), 7-0, Sept. 9, 2006.
White first received a pass from Alan Jackson in the 79th minute before smashing home his second in the 80th minute for the 7-0 final score as the Cavaliers possessed the ball for the majority of the final 10 minutes.
Lucas Carvalho played the entire 90 minutes to earn the first shutout of the season and his seventh career thanks to a strong defensive presence that didn't allow the Owls a single shot on target.
The Joao Pessoa, Brazil, native earned First Team All-Appalachian Athletic Conference honors last season led the Cavs to their first AAC Tournament Championship and NAIA National Tournament in 2011 as a freshman.
Montreat returns to action in two weeks when they travel to Williamsburg, Ky., for a 4 p.m. kickoff at Doyle Buhl Stadium against former Montreat College head coach Brenton Benware and the Patriots of the University of the Cumberlands.
TREAT NOTES ….
OVER THE OWLS: The Cavaliers who hadn't played the Owls since 2011 improved to 4-0-0 all-time and earned their first shutout against Warren Wilson College on Saturday.
FANTASTIC 24: Montreat improved to 2-0-0 on the 24th day of the eighth month … the last outing on August 24 came in 2010 when the Cavs defeated Emmanuel (Ga.), 2-0.
DEBUT: David Knapp made his official coaching debut against Warren Wilson … the previous two head coaches went 1-1-0 in their debuts. Brenton Benware who led the Cavs from 2008-2010 won his debut 3-0 over Emmanuel (Ga.) and finished with a three-year mark of 31-21-1.
SEASON 44: The long and illustrious 44-year history of men's soccer began as Montreat-Anderson College, when MC was a two-year institution thanks to then student David Walters. Walters was instrumental in starting men's soccer as a club team, he worked with the college's administration in hiring a coach, Larry Wilson, ordered uniforms, and scheduled matches. His second, and final year at Montreat (1968) saw the first sanctioned intercollegiate soccer match for the Cavaliers. Walters now the Director of Development at Montreat College played as a striker on the inaugural squad and was the first and only men's soccer player ever honored as a member of the inaugural Cavalier Hall of Fame for his contribution to the college and the men's soccer program.