LEXINGTON, Va. -- In a tightly contested game, the Virginia Military Institute men’s soccer team fell 1-0 to in-state foe Longwood University. The season opening game was scoreless after the first half, but Longwood got a 1-0 lead in the 60th minute that held up Saturday afternoon at Patchin Field.
Longwood got its goal from Zach Crandall after Dan Campos sent in a cross, followed by Crandall receiving the pass on his chest and tilted the ball towards the goal. VMI keeper Alex Guerra made an attempt at the ball but it squeezed past him and just over the line.
Longwood (1-0-0) held the advantage in shots, taking 14 attempts while VMI managed nine. The Keydets (0-1-0) put nearly half of their efforts on frame, but Lancer keeper Carlos Canas made four saves on the afternoon. Campos and Crandall led the game with four shots apiece. Four different Keydets put shots on goal while redshirt sophomore Chris Spates took three total attempts.
In goal for the Keydets, Alex Guerra made one save with his defense in front of him forcing the Lancers into low-percentage shots. VMI’s defense stood steady as the Lancers earned five corner kicks. The Keydets took six corners on the day, with Alex Hartman sending in a majority. Spates had a pair of header attempts on Hartman corners.
Midway through the first half, Spates got his head on a cross from Hartman’s corner, but Canas met the attempt to keep a clean slate. Ten minutes into the second half, Spates again headed a cross from a Hartman, but the attempt went high.
Guerra was challenged late in the tilt as Finlay Wyatt put a shot on cage. Guerra controlled the attempt to give the Keydets a chance going back the other way.
The Keydets host another intrastate opponent on Tuesday as VMI hosts Liberty University. Last season VMI topped the Flames 3-2 in Lynchburg, Virginia thanks to a late strike from Hartman. Game time for the 2014 edition is set for 4 p.m. at Patchin Field.