By Jeremy Balan
After dominating play for the first 78 minutes, all it took was one slip-up to make University’s 2-1 non-league win over College Prep of Oakland at the Crocker Amazon Soccer Fields a little too close for comfort.
The Red Devils (3-1-1) were up 2-0 and in total control when College Prep’s Nour Fawz scored on the Cougars’ only shot on target of the game in the 79th minute.
Prior to the College Prep (2-3-2) score, University dominated possession and nearly all goal-scoring opportunities, peppering College Prep goalkeeper Carolyn Dundes with 12 shots on goal.
“The score is a lot closer than what the game was,” said University head coach Deejae Johnson. “We moved the ball well, but I would have liked to be a little sharper in the attacking third, taking a few more risks in better spots.”
The Red Devils held on in the final minutes to secure the win, but early on the University attack couldn’t break through until the final seconds of the first half.
After being denied on their first five shots on goal, the Red Devils opened the scoring in the 40th minute, when freshman Mikaela Symanovich sent a shot on net from 25 yards out.
Dundes made the initial save, but could not control the rebound and the ball caromed to University senior Adrian Kerester, who sent the ball toward the net from the right wing. The ball found Nicolette Symanovich up front, but her shot was blocked, sending the ball to Nikki Leong all alone on the back post, who put the ball into the open net with ease.
The second University goal, and eventual game-winner, came in the 55th minute, when senior Katie Buoymaster found Mikaela Symanovich unmarked on a corner kick.
Still, Johnson knows the Red Devils will need to cash in on more opportunities as the season progresses.
“I was actually really happy with the way we played in a lot of categories,” Johnson said. “The final score was the only spot [I was unhappy with], but we got the win. Honestly, I don’t really care what the score is when we get a win.”
For College Prep, a young Division V team that has already tied Urban and upset Lick-Wilmerding in non-league play, getting the late goal was something to build on heading into Bay Counties League East play.
“It was nice, but it took me a while to recognize what strategy to use,” said College Prep head coach Godwin Odiye. “They’re a good team, but we’re very inexperienced. When you face a good team like that, you have to respect them. I like what I’ve seen so far, so if we make a few adjustments, we should be fine.”