10/24/04 — Queens shuts out Trojan men 1-0

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Queens shuts out Trojan men 1-0

By News-Argus Staff
Published in Sports on October 24, 2004 9:44 AM

MOUNT OLIVE -- In 90 minutes of play, Mount Olive College's men's soccer match against Queens basically came down to two foot races and some unlucky bounces in front of the goal.

Eric Blevens took advantage of a defensive miscue and scored the game's only goal in the 22nd minute to lift Queens to a 1-0 victory over Mount Olive in Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference men's soccer Saturday at Trojan Field.

As a result, Queens clinched its third consecutive regular season conference title and the No. 1 seed in next month's CVAC Tournament, while Mount Olive needs a win or draw at Lees-McRae next Saturday to secure sole possession of second place.

Mount Olive (12-4-2 overall, 7-2-0 CVAC) had its first scoring chance in the 11th minute after a Queens foul in the attacking third, but Charles Williams' 25-yard shot went just over the crossbar. The Trojans then had a golden opportunity when Queens goalkeeper Bruce Mottern came out of his goal, leaving an open goal for Reid Clewis, but his shot was blocked by a Queens defender to keep the game scoreless. The tide of the match would turn just four minutes later.

Queens (12-1-1, 9-0-1) mounted an attack, but did not score. However, the Trojans were unable to clear the ball out of their zone on the ensuing goal kick. Blevens took advantage and got the ball past Mount Olive goalkeeper Chris Roush, who had to come out of his line. As the ball rolled near the goal, Blevens outran a Trojan defender and tipped the ball in from just in front of the left post to put Queens on top at the 21:50 mark. Queens appeared to take a two-goal lead less than a minute later, but Demetrius Donald's goal was disallowed on an offside call.

For Trojan head coach Jerry Riggs, the end result didn't reflect his team's effort.

"I feel sad for the guys," said Riggs. "They played their tails off and they played well enough to win the match. We just had some bad luck on some shots at the end -- off the post, off defenders, even off the keeper's face."

For the match, Mount Olive outshot Queens 14-9 and finished with an 8-2 edge in corner kicks. Roush had four saves for the Trojans, while Mottern recorded seven saves for Queens, which went through regular season conference play without a loss for the third consecutive year.

The Royals had a tie against Erskine in September.

The loss to Queens not only prevents Mount Olive from winning the regular season conference title, but it also dampens the Trojans' chances for their first-ever NCAA II tournament berth. Mount Olive and Queens entered the matched tied at No. 5 in the Southeast Region. Only the top three teams advance to regionals.

"To come so close to winning a (regular season) conference championship and maybe get an NCAA berth, then having it go down like that is tough to handle," said Riggs.

Mount Olive has a week to prepare for its regular season finale Saturday at Lees-McRae. Then the Trojans will play host to a first-round match-up in the CVAC Tournament November 3 at Trojan Field.