Unbeaten Campbell defeats UNCW, 2-1

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BUIES CREEK, N.C. - Aleksi Tossavainen and Justin Franz scored goals to lead unbeaten Campbell to a 2-1 victory over UNC Wilmington Wednesday night at the Eakes Athletic Complex.

Ranked 7th in the South Atlantic region, Campbell (2-0-1) won its second-straight one-goal decision thanks to strikes on both halves.  The Camels opened the year with a 1-1 draw at 16th-ranked SMU before claiming a 1-0 decision last Sunday at Houston Baptist.

UNCW (0-1-1), which drew 2-2 last week with UNC Greensboro, was unable to overcome a two-goal deficit.

Wearing gold jerseys in celebration of the program's 50th men's soccer season, the Camels jumped in front in the 21st minute when Tossavainen headed home Mitchell Cardenas' corner kick.  A senior from Mexico City, Cardenas set up each of Campbell's first three goals of the year.

Campbell nearly doubled the lead in the 32nd minute when Travis Golden hit a long diagonal pass that Franz controlled to the right of the box.  However, Franz' low, heavy shot missed just wide left.

Cardenas' left-footed effort from about 25 yards narrowly missed the upper left corner.

Less than 10 minutes into the second half, UNCW nearly equalized with Jamie Dell's hard left-footed effort just missed the top left corner.

Just over six minutes later, Campbell doubled the lead when Ben Iiames served from the left corner to Franz, who controlled the ball at the top of the area and drove a left-footed shot past UNCW keeper Brad Newman into the net.

The Seahawks pulled within one on a 66th minute counter attack.  Michael Parrish sent the ball forward in the midfield to Mateo Cardona, who cut back about 35 yards from goal and launched a shot into the upper right corner of Ethan Hall's net.

Franz nearly added a second strike in the 76th minute on a combination with Isaiah Page in the UNCW box, but the junior's left footed blast from about 8 yards sailed just over the cross bar.

Campbell held a 16-7 edge in shots, 5-3 in shots on goal.  Hall finished with 2 saves on the night, while Newman had three stops in the UNCW nets.

The Camels stretched their series lead to 26-20-1 against their most frequent rival in the 50-season history of the program.  Campbell won last year's meeting 4-2 at Wilmington.

Campbell returns to action Saturday in a 7:00 p.m. kick-off at Elon.