LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN, Ga. - The N.C. Wesleyan College Men's Soccer team won the 2019 USA South Athletic Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday on the campus of Covenant College in a penalty kick shootout.
The Bishops and the Scots played to a 1-1 double-overtime draw with the championship needing penalty kicks to be decided.
In the penalty kick shootout, N.C. Wesleyan (16-2-2) captured the program's fourth tournament title and 2nd in the past 3 years with a 4-2 decision as they went 4 for 4 on PKs.
Making the kicks in the shootout were sophomore Lorenzo Cocchia with the first, senior Mamadou Jallow on the second, sophomore defender Jack Holden with the third and icing the win was fellow defender Rodrigo Gongora-Soto while Covenant missed two of their shootout kicks. Sophomore all-tournament MVP goalkeeper Tobias Borzel then made the huge save on Covenant's fourth attempt to clinch the title.
"I'm so proud of this team. They stuck together all year," commented head coach Meir Lewin. "In both games, it was guys coming off the bench to make a difference, which just speaks to how hard every single member of the team competes."
"We had to do it against two of the most difficult conference opponents on the road," continued Lewin. "Every one of these guys gave the absolute maximum effort to gut it out for us. We talked about sacrifice this season, and these guys just proved how far they are willing to go for each other."
A scoreless first half saw each team enter the break tied in shots at 4 apiece. Covenant (18-2-2) then grabbed the 1-0 lead with a goal in the 56th minute. Wesleyan would finally tie the title game with an unassisted goal from sophomore midfielder Lucas Menzo in the 81st minute as Wesleyan outshot the Scots 10-8 in the second half. It was Menzo's first goal of the season as he picked a perfect time to score it.
Sophomore all-tournament forward Matteo Costa led the Bishops in total shots with 8 while he, Borzel, defenders Joe Brooks and Enzo Genovese and second team midfielder Mamadou Jallow were all named to the 2019 USA South Conference tournament team.
The Bishops will find out their opponent, location and time in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Monday in a 1:30 PM selection show on ncaa.com.
2019 All-Tournament Team
F - Josh Brower, Covenant
F - Matteo Costa, N.C. Wesleyan
F - Darli Mihindou, Greensboro
M - Mamadou Jallow, N.C. Wesleyan
M - Parker Owen, Covenant
M - Jesse Riggs, Covenant
D - Joe Brooks, N.C. Wesleyan
D - Enzo Genovese, N.C. Wesleyan
D - Matt Morefield, Covenant
GK - Tobias Borzel, N.C. Wesleyan (MVP)
GK - Mykal Manfred, Maryville
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