Men's Soccer Defeats Lincoln Memorial – Wins Third Straight Conference TitleNovember 4, 2012
AU Becomes First Team in SAC History to Win Three Straight
ROCK HILL, S.C. – Sophomore Daniel Colvin’s goal with less than three minutes remaining lifted the fifth-seeded Anderson men’s soccer team past No. 3 seed Lincoln Memorial, 1-0, in the title match of the 2012 Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Sunday afternoon at the Manchester Meadows Soccer Complex.
Colvin, a 5-foot-6 midfielder, notched his first goal of the season in the 88th minute after taking the ball down the right side and firing the ball inside the far post to secure the Trojans’ third consecutive tournament title and potentially fourth straight NCAA Southeast Regional Tournament appearance.
Anderson extended its unbeaten streak to four and improved to 6-10-4 overall, while avenging a 7-1 regular-season setback at the hands of the Railsplitters. Lincoln Memorial (13-4-1) had its win streak halted at seven.
Lincoln Memorial held a 15-8 advantage in shots and a 7-4 edge in shots on goal, but the Trojan defense held the potent Railsplitter offense in check, as SAC Player of the Year Mario Pinto, the nation’s second-leading scorer, was limited to three shots on the afternoon.
“I’m obviously very pleased and proud for the team to have won its third title in a row,” said Anderson head coach John Murphy. “The fact that the program had won two in the past certainly had an impact. The returning players stood out and we had exceptional efforts by our younger players as well.”
Anderson senior goalkeeper Lukas Hesse, the tourney’s Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive year, recorded six saves while notching his fourth consecutive shutout and seventh of the season.
Colvin and defender Zak Moss, who were both selected to the All-Tournament Team, led Anderson with two shots apiece. LMU's offensive attack was paced by forward Leonardo Germniani's four shots and Pinto's three.
Rounding out the All-Tournament Team were Carson-Newman's Trustan Dafydd and Lucas Siqueira and Mars Hill's Zac Scott and Alex Mullen.
“I am very happy for Lukas,” added Murphy. “It was very well-deserved. He showed outstanding leadership. We had exceptional performances from the others, as well as the defense overall.”
Six teams from the Southeast Region (South Atlantic Conference, Peach Belt Conference and Conference Carolinas) are selected to the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Championship. Since there are no automatic qualifiers for men’s soccer, both the Trojans and Railsplitters will await their fate until the NCAA Selection Show Monday night at 7 p.m. Because the NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Championship does not award automatic qualification bids, Anderson's season has likely come to an end. The rest of the SAC will learn its postseason fate on Monday night when the championship field is announced.
While the Trojans have been unranked, the most recent rankings had Lander in top spot in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings, with Flagler and Mars Hill at the No. 2 and No. 3 spots in the poll. UNC Pembroke was No. 4 and Wingate was No. 5, with the Railsplitters at No. 6. Montevallo and Coker rounded out the rankings in the seventh and eighth spots.
Anderson opened the conference tournament with a 1-0 win past Wingate last Wednesday night and got past Mars Hill on penalty kicks in Friday night’s semifinals.