ASHEVILLE, N.C. - Amir Shihata scored the winning goal on the only shot VMI had in the second half as the Keydets held off UNC Asheville 2-1 in Big South Conference men's soccer action Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (3-10-1, 1-4-0 BSC) out-shot VMI 9-1 in the second half but could only score once as they lost to the Keydets for the first time in three years. Asheville got its only goal from freshman Bobby Castro in the 55th minute.
Shihata scored twice for VMI (2-9-1, 2-3-0 BSC). He scored in the 9th minute and at 77:44 for the game-winner.
"This is a tough loss," explained Bulldog coach Matt Kern. "We did some good things throughout the day but just couldn't get the ball into the back of the net. Credit VMI for playing well and making plays when it had to."
Shihata scored his first goal of the game when he took a pass from Brian Harding and streaked into the goal area. He pushed the ball into the back of the net from five yards out for a 1-0 VMI Lead at 9:26.
The Bulldogs controlled much of the play over the next 20 minutes and just missed scoring on several occasions. The Keydets dominated the possession over the last 10 minutes and just missed on two great chances to score thanks to the brilliant goalkeeper of Lassi Hurskainen. David Rochow and Richata fired 20-yard blasts late in the half that appeared to be going to the upper half of the goal only to see Hurskainen knock the ball away at the last minute.
In the second half, Asheville got the equalizer when Castro picked up a rebound from 15 yards out and snuck the ball into the back of the net to knot the match at 1-1 at 55:17.
The Bulldogs continued to control play and just missed scoring a second goal. VMI goalkeeper Brian Sowell made four of his five saves in the second half.
The Keydets would get the game-winner on a counter-attack. Kyle Farmer made a nice run down the left side and made a perfect pass to Shihata in the goal area. He tapped it in and suddenly VMI led 2-1 at 77:44.
The Bulldogs had some chances in the final minutes as a Jake Sides header was stopped by Sowell with a minute remaining.
UNC Asheville hosts Wofford next Saturday (Oct. 30) at 1 p.m. VMI travels to Howard Wednesday for a 7 p.m. match.