LEXINGTON, Va. Freshman Max Hasenstab capped off an impressive week with two goals and an assist to lead Winthrop to a 5-1 victory over Virginia Military Institute on Saturday afternoon at Patchin Field.
It was the conference opener for Winthrop, which improved to 7-0-1 on the season and tied the 1994 team for the best start without a loss in school history. It’s the fourth straight victory in a conference opener and the sixth straight win over VMI, which fell to 1-7-1 overall and 1-2 in the Big South.
“Happy to get out with a win,” said Winthrop coach Rich Posipanko. “I thought the first 20 minutes was as good as it gets. I think to be a really good team we have to put more complete games together.”
Winthrop came out aggressively and it paid off in the ninth minute as Hasenstab fired a shot from 20 yards that made its way through traffic and into the net. The goal came after Winthrop had a couple of good scoring chances early and three corner kicks as well.
It wasn’t long after Hasenstab scored his second goal of the day and put Winthrop ahead 2-0 that he found himself with a one-on-one and chipped the ball over the keeper.
Midway through the first half, VMI took advantage of a corner kick as Travis Borkey served up a perfect ball to the head of Aaron White, who redirected it into the left side of the goal for his second of the season. The goal came about a minute after Achille Obougou nearly made it 3-0 after his shot hit the post and stayed out of the net.
The Eagles started the second half with the same offensive pressure it did in the first and it paid off in the 55th minute as Obougou netted his fourth goal of the season. Adam Brundle played a long ball as Magnus Thorsson headed the ball on to Obougou, who took care of the rest.
The fourth goal came in the 70th minute when Mason Lavallet and Hasenstab passed back and forth until Lavallet let a shot fly inside the box for his first goal of the season.
Senior Adriano Negri came on as a sub in the 74th minute for Obougou and found the net in the 86th minute to make it 5-1. Jose Mencia played the ball to Sean Comer, who quickly sent the ball to Negri for the goal.
Guilherme Avelar made two saves on the day to earn the win in net while his counterpart Daniel Kitchen finished with four saves. Winthrop finished with a 23-8 advantage in shots, including a 15-3 advantage at the half.
Now reaching seven wins on the year, the Eagles are just three shy of the program’s 400th victory all-time. Posipanko is also now just three wins shy of 250 victories as coach of the Eagles.He has 364 career wins.
Winthrop will be back in action at 7 p.m. Tuesday for a matchup with Southern Conference foe College of Charleston.
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