BUIES CREEK — Campbell secured three more valuable points in the Big South Conference standings Saturday night with a 3-1 win over UNC Asheville at the Eakes Athletic Complex.
Josh Signey scored and added an assist, while fellow senior J.J. Donnelly set up two goals for Campbell (7-7-2, 4-2-1), which clinched a berth in the six-team Big South Tournament next month by extending their unbeaten string to three matches (2-0-1).
Thibaut Jacquel and Matt Lock also scored for the Camels, who outshot Asheville (2-12-2, 0-7) by a 24-4 margin, 8-1 in attempts on target.
“We are pleased to get three points,” said CU coach Dustin Fonder. “It was a critical win to make sure we qualified for the Big South tournament. Now we’re excited about getting back to training and get ready to play Longwood. After that, we’re excited about the opportunity to play for a Big South championship and NCAA tournament bid.”
A three-minute flurry 20 minutes into the contest gave the Camels the lead.
In the 21st minute, Lock took a right-footed shot from outside the box that smashed off the outside of the right post.
Just a minute later, Signey scored from nearly the same spot by taking a return pass from Ian Rees and curling a right-footed effort into the top left corner of the net for his second goal of the season.
A little over a minute later, Lock was taken down in the Asheville area, but Bastien Oberli’s penalty kick sailed over the crossbar to leave the Camel lead at 1-0.
After a Campbell foul near midfield, Mac Gourlay drove a free kick to the top of the box. Camel keeper Samuel Lechuga charged off his line, but was not in time, and Izaiah Vignali’s header lofted over the back line, bounced inside the six-yard box, and into the net before the Camel defense could recover.
Campbell outshot the visitors 9-3 in the opening period, but the match was knotted 1-1 after 45 minutes.
Just 2:47 into the second half, Jacquel controlled a pass at the top of the area and curled a right-footed shot that dipped under the bar for his fourth goal of the season.
Only 2:16 later, Donnelly flicked on Signey’s left-footed service to the feet of Lock, who slotted home a right-footed shot for a two-goal edge.
Campbell out-shot Asheville 15-1 in the second period and was nearly rewarded in the 75th minute, but Mario Da Silva’s shot from about 10 yards away was cleared off the line.
Saturday’s outing was the final regular season home appearance for a quartet of Campbell seniors — Da Silva, Donnelly, Gabe Parrish and Signey.
However, it won’t be the team’s final match at the Eakes Complex this season. CU could place as high as second in the standings (and the bye into the semifinals that accompanies a top two finish) and has already clinched at least a home field berth for the Big South first round.
Wednesday’s 6 p.m. kickoff at Longwood, along with two other league matches, will determine the second through fourth seeds in the league tourney. High Point clinched the Big South regular season crown Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Radford.