LEXINGTON, Va. - Competing against ETSU for the second time in a week, the VMI men's soccer team fell by a 5-1 score to the visiting Bucs Tuesday evening at Patchin Field.
Down 3-0 at the half, the Keydets (0-13, 0-7) battled back early in the second period to draw two ETSU (9-4-1, 5-1-1) yellow cards, one resulting in a penalty kick opportunity taken by VMI junior Sam Moffatt. The Richmond, Virginia native converted the kick to cut the disadvantage to 3-1 with 30 just over minutes to play.
Despite a few more shots toward the ETSU net, the Keydets were unable to score anymore points as the Bucs went on to claim the 5-1 win.
The Bucs scored early in the game in the third minute when freshman Joe Pickering scored on a header off a Joao Ramalho corner kick to go up 1-0. Senior Fletcher Ekern, among the Southern Conference leaders in goals, scored two consecutive goals midway through the half to put the Bucs ahead by a 3-0 count at intermission.
VMI pressed consistently throughout the second half to yield a few scoring opportunities, one of which VMI drew an ETSU foul within the goalbox during a free kick to give Moffatt the penalty kick opportunity. Moffatt now leads the Keydets with three goals on the season.
Sophomore Grant Austin led VMI with three shots on the day, including two on goal, while Moffatt, senior Dan Geyer and junior Patrick Lenahan each had one. Ekern led ETSU with eight attempts as the Bucs outshot VMI by a 28-6 margin and 14 shots on goal to VMI's three.
The Keydets return to action Saturday as they travel to Macon, Georgia, for a league rubber match with Mercer. Kickoff is slated for a 7 p.m. start.