OWINGS MILLS, Md. - The Stevenson men's soccer team erased a first half deficit as freshman Christian Beteta and junior Iliyas Mirza netted second half goals to lead the Mustangs to a 2-1 non-conference victory over Washington (Md.) Friday afternoon at Mustang Stadium.
It is the first win under new head coach Graeme Millar who spent the previous 10 seasons coaching on the women's side. The win is also the first season opening victory in the last three seasons for the Mustangs (1-0) who went just 1-8-2 at home a season ago.
The hosts were awarded a free kick in the 14th minute after a yellow card was issued to the Shoremen (0-1), which gave the Mustangs a look from 29 yards out. Sophomore James Vess was able to float the ball deep into the 18-yard back but the defense was there to clear it away.
Washington (Md.) took a 1-0 lead in the 37th minute as Christian Keller received a pass right outside the 18-yard box before ripping a shot that deflected off a Mustang defender, causing the ball to change directions and into the net.
Late in the first half, Stevenson had another free kick, this time for 25 yards out but were whistled for a hand ball in the box. The Mustangs were held to just two shots in the opening half.
The Mustangs were finally able to get on the scoreboard as senior Eric Dorsey was able to connect with Beteta following a short corner kick. Beteta hit a right-footed volley as he was wide open on the far post for his first career goal.
Later in the half, freshman Tariq Lee drew a foul in the box to set up a penalty kick, which Mirza was able to convert. Mirza is a perfect 4-for-4 on penalty kicks in his career after going 3-for-3 last season.
Making his first career start in net, senior Jake Brown finished with seven saves in the win.
The Mustangs outshot the Shoremen, 10-6 in the second half and held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks in the game.
Stevenson returns to action on Sunday, September 3 when the Mustangs host Hampden-Sydney in a non-conference contest beginning at 2:00 p.m.