10/22/04 — Trojans ready for chance at CVAC men's soccer title

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Trojans ready for chance at CVAC men's soccer title

Published in Sports on October 22, 2004 1:55 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Heading into the next-to-last weekend of the regular season, the Mount Olive College men's soccer team is assured of either winning the regular season conference title or finishing in a tie for second. And the good news for the Trojans is they can control their own destiny.

Mount Olive plays its regular season home finale Saturday as the Trojans play host to conference leader Queens in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's soccer. Match time is 4 p.m. at Trojan Field. Along with seedings in the CVAC Tournament, regional rankings are also on the line Saturday. Mount Olive and Queens are tied at No. 5 in this week's NSCAA/Adidas Division II Southeast Regional Poll.

Mount Olive (12-3-2 overall, 7-1-0 CVAC) is coming off a 2-0 victory Wednesday at Newberry, which is ranked No. 7 in the Appalachian Region.

The Trojans used "freshman power" for the win, as freshmen Adam Caston and Matt Hobbs accounted for the goals and freshman goalkeeper Chris Roush pitched his third shutout of the season. Warren Atkins, who leads the nation in assists per game, recorded his 15th assist of the season.

Offensively, Mount Olive has dominated the CVAC statistical categories all season. Cory Worrell, who ranks in the top five in the nation in goals and points per game, leads the CVAC in total points and is followed by teammates Reid Clewis and Atkins. Worrell and Clewis rank first and second in goals scored. Worrell is the first-ever Trojan men's soccer player to reach the 20-goal mark in a season. Atkins and Clewis rank first and second in the conference in assists.

The Trojans had been averaging more than five goals per game this season, but have managed a combined total of five goals in their last four matches, including a 1-0 loss to Pfeiffer as Mount Olive posted a 1-1-2 mark during that span. Mount Olive and Queens rank first and second in the conference, respectively, in goals scored per game.

Defensively, the two teams are tied for first in the CVAC with a 1.20 goals against average.

Queens (11-1-1, 8-0-1) brings a 34-match unbeaten streak in regular season conference play into Saturday's contest. The Royals are 32-0-2 dating back to the 2001 season. The lone blemish on Queens' conference record this season is a 1-1 tie at eighth-place Erskine in September.

The Royals, which play their conference finale Saturday, are coming off a 6-0 win over Anderson Tuesday. Five different players scored goals for Queens and last year's CVAC Player of the Year Oliver Carias notched two assists.

Mount Olive enters Saturday's match with 21 points, four points behind Queens. (A win counts as three points and a tie counts as one point.) If the Trojans defeat Queens, Mount Olive can clinch the No. 1 seed in the CVAC Tournament with a win or tie at Lees-McRae October 30. A tie against Queens assures the Trojans the No. 2 seed in the tournament. A loss Saturday means the Trojans will be the No. 2, 3 or 4 seed.

Saturday's match marks the final career home match for the Trojans' four seniors. Atkins, Justin Burch, Michael Fuhrer and Worrell will be honored prior to the match.