PIKEVILLE – Seventy minutes is what it took for the University of Pikeville men’s soccer team to get on the board, but it ended up being enough – along with a late 89th-minute strike – to get past Hiwassee 2-0 on Saturday at the Bob Amos Complex.
While the Bears (1-0) outshot Hiwassee 28-6, they were only able to put 12 of their attempts on goal, showing some early season jitters that started working themselves out in the final 45 minutes.
Eric Bernabeu netted what would be the game-winning goal, shooting off a rebound from Brandon Lopez’s blocked shot. With the defense putting that clamps on Hiwassee, the Bears were able to add to the lead in the 89th minute when David Azcunaga collected a loose ball near the goal line and booted it in.
Bernebau led all players with seven shots and Lopez and Nick Westerdale both finished with an assist each. Hank Hill manned the goal for Hiwassee (0-2) with 10 saves, while Anibal Navarro posted the shutout win with four.
“This is the first game of the season and you have to work through the bugs and get used to our new style of play, plus we had a few guys in spots they don’t usually play,” said UPIKE head coach Gary Warford. “But I think as the game went on the guys started getting into their style of play.”