Connor Hartwell (4) celebrates after scoring on a free kick in Thursday's season opener against Cal. Also pictured is Chris Irakoze (30).
Connor Hartwell (4) celebrates after scoring on a free kick in Thursday's season opener against Cal. Also pictured is Chris Irakoze (30).

Hartwell tallies goal and assist to propel soccer ‘Cats to 3-1 win in season opener

BUCKHANNON, W.Va. — The West Virginia Wesleyan (1-0-0) men’s soccer team utilized early goals on Thursday evening (Sept. 2) in a 3-1 season-opening victory over California (Pa.) at Culpepper Stadium.

WVWC had about as good a start to the 2021 campaign as you could ask for. After California (Pa.) conceded a free kick in the third minute on the edge of the box, sophomore Connor Hartwell stepped over the set-piece and delivered a ball right to the head of a fellow midfielder Hunter Dierlam for the opening goal.

Only two minutes later, Hartwell added another to his account. After a ball hit the hand of a Cal U defender just outside the box, Hartwell stood over the set-piece once again. This time the Romford, England native slotted the ball into the top left corner past the opposing keeper and gave the Bobcats the 2-0 lead after just five minutes of play.

After an errant clearance, Cal U midfielder Diego Rodriguez was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty in the eighth minute. However, the Vulcans were not able to capitalize as Rodriguez sent the attempt over the crossbar.

On the stroke of halftime, Zach Vanek found a cross from Michael McAnalley fall to his foot. The sophomore tucked it past WVWC goalkeeper Logan Nelson to bring the Vulcans within one.

Wesleyan took the momentum back after another quick start to the half. In the 48th minute, Fairmont, W.Va., native Tanner Amos led Nika Monaselidze into space up the left wing. Monaselidze sent a long cross into the box and that found its way to Andrew White. White didn’t hesitate and placed the ball into the near post making the score 3-1.

The Bobcats are back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 8 when they head to Phillippi, W.Va., to take on the Battlers from Alderson Broaddus.

Click here to see My Buckhannon’s photo gallery from the game.




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