MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - The University of South Carolina Aiken men's soccer team rallied late with a Brett Van Pelt goal, but it was not enough as the Pacers fell 3-1 to Mount Olive in their regular season opener on Saturday evening at Amon Field.
The loss on Saturday snapped a two-match winning streak for the Pacers over the Trojans. USC Aiken, which is now 0-1 in 2009, still owns an 8-3-1 all-time record against Mount Olive.
The Pacers down 3-0 to Mount Olive entering the latter minutes of the game, freshman Brett Van Pelt (Aiken, S.C./South Aiken) finally broke through for the Pacers to put them back into the match. Van Pelt was assisted on the play by Troy Watson (Kingston, Jamaica/Montreat).
The goal would not be enough though with Mount Olive holding on to claim a victory in its sixth straight season opener.
Neither team could break through in the first half with the two teams entering intermission even at 0-0.
Just under 15 minutes into the second half things would change with the first goal of the game coming in the 58th-minute. The two teams would battle with the 1-0 score for the next 15 minutes before Mount Olive tacked on two more goals to take the 3-0 advantage.
Angelo Acquah netted the eventual game-winner for Mount Olive when he scored on an Adrian Daniels assist in the 74th minute. Three minutes later goal number three came for the Trojans on a Ramon Gallardo free kick that bent past USC Aiken goalkeeper Andray Charles (Grenada, West Indies/T.A. Marryshow).
USC Aiken finished with four more shots than the Trojans in the contest, sending the ball towards the goal 14 times. Mount Olive took 10 shots in the match. USC Aiken held a commanding 12-4 advantage in corner kicks.
The Pacers next open the second month of their 2009 campaign in September by hosting a season-high four consecutive home contests.
USC Aiken begins its four-match homestand at the "Pacer Pit" by welcoming first-time opponent Lynn to Aiken for a 7 p.m. game on Friday, Sept. 4. Lynn, which concluded last season ranked eighth in NCAA Division II, is a national powerhouse and they are coached by John Rootes, who coached Ofoje in college at Southern New Hampshire University. The two led the Penmen to the NCAA Division II National Championship in 1989.