Senior midfielder Hinton Chandler waited until a little over three minutes remained in the game to get his first score. His first goal of the year also happened to be the game winner giving the Stormy Petrels a season-opening 11-10 win over the Shorter Hawks in Rome, GA.
Junior attackman Jaden Sealey put the Hawks on the scoreboard first with more than half of the first period gone.
Oglethorpe responded with three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead in the first. Senior attackman Richard (Quay) Bedgood IV netted two scores after fellow senior attackman Max Brand added the team’s first goal of the year.
The second period belonged to the Hawks. Sealey notched a hat trick with two quick goals early before book-ending goals from senior middie Kaleb Roehn and junior attackman Ethan Kavanaugh. Shorter out shot the visitors 18-8 in the period. Senior goalie Addis Irwin kept the game from getting out of hand with six saves during the stretch.
New Half, New Energy
After goals from Sealey and Kavanaugh, the Stormy Petrels’ offense found its rhythm with defense. Down 8-3, Oglethorpe’s defense turned their physical play up a few notches. The intensity resulted in goals for the offense. Junior midfielder Israel Pendleton-Moore beat junior d-pole Hunter Hardeman for a goal and Bedgood claimed his hat trick with his third. Junior transfer Travis “Mac” McDonald chased down the the Hawks face-off winner and knocked the ball loose. Pendleton-Moore scooped up the loose ball and sent it to the back of the net to close to within two of the lead.
Roehn added another goal, this time unassisted to extend the lead back to 3.
The lead shrunk to one on back-to-back goals from Brand.
Roehn notched scored his hat trick early in the fourth. Senior d-pole Zach Brown picked up a 30-second stay in the penalty box for pushing. Shorter wasted no time on the man up situation. Kavanaugh and Earl Marshall both took shots on goal but neither found the net. Seconds after Marshall’s shot missed wide, Roehn found the back of the net.
Shorter may have owned the second quarter but Oglethorpe owned the last 7:30. Brand went into his bag and pulled out two back-to-back gems to tie the game at 10-10.
Two penalties and a two-man advantage gave the Stormy Petrels the opportunity to put the game away. Two wide open opportunities fell right in their lap. Senior middie Jeremiah James scooped up a ground ball and let it fly towards the open goal. Only an amazing effort from Hawks junior goalie Chase Finley kept the ball from going into the net. Finley dove full extension blocking the shot with the edge of his stick.
Oglethorpe wouldn’t squander the second opportunity. Pressure at midfield caused another turnover. Bedgood passed it off to Brand to let him work. Brand found nothing to his liking passing the ball back to Bedgood who had worked his way to the X-position behind the goal. The senior attackman found Chandler on a dead run down the middle and the middie won the game.
Oglethorpe travels to Waleska, GA to face NAIA powerhouse Reinhardt at 2 pm on Saturday, February 4. This will be the first match-up between the two teams since the Eagles went on to win five consecutive national championships (2017, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2022).
Shorter travels even further north to face the Bulldogs of Tennessee Wesleyan in Athens, TN at 1 pm. The Bulldogs hammered the Hawks 20-4 a year ago.
All photos copyright Jason McDonald, JM Photography for CORE360 Sports