Eagles Use Strong 2nd Half to Take KIAC Crown
WILMORE, Ky. – The men’s soccer team needed a second half lift against Mountain State and that came in the form of a gift. The Eagles were given the go-ahead goal in the form of an own goal in the 53rd minute in a 5-1 KIAC Tournament Championship game victory.
Asbury (14-4-2) claims their second tournament championship (2009) and will now play Roberts Wesleyan College (10-9-1) in Canton, Ohio on Saturday November 12 at 4 p.m. in the Unaffiliated Grouping game. The winner will advance to the NAIA Opening Round. Roberts Wesleyan won the America Mideast Conference, 1-0 over Point Park (Pa.).
The Eagles struck first on Saturday night as Trent Popp netted his 20th goal of the season in the 23rd minute off a feed from Garrett Davis. Mountain State would answer in the 38th as Gustavo Maia intercepted an errant pass near midfield and raced by everyone to the goal. The Cougars would create several threatening chances throughout the half and out-shot the Eagles 11-7 for the half.
The tide would turn in the second. A cross was sent into the box and Mountain State’s Rafael Borgess tried to clear the ball and knocked into the back of the net. From there the Eagles would seize control as the game turned nasty. Jonathan Rehner would score in the 63rd as Adam Howard picked up an assist.
After that Mountain State would have a player sent off after picking up his second yellow card and the Eagles capitalized. Garrett Davis would knock home his ninth of the year in the 84th as Rehner flicked the ball past the defenders and Davis made a run past everyone. Hayes Creech would add his fourth just minutes later, before MSU would have another player sent off for his second yellow.
Asbury ties a school record with their 14th win of the season, joining the 1980 and 1977 teams. The Eagles also won the KIAC Tournament in 2009 and 2007. In 2009 they would travel to Mobile (Ala.) for an Unaffiliated play-in game and would lose 2-1.