11/07/04 — MOC men advance to championship

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MOC men advance to championship

Published in Sports on November 7, 2004 2:00 AM

BELMONT -- Mount Olive goalkeeper Chris Roush made a save on Queens' final penalty kick attempt and senior Michael Fuhrer put home the game winner as No. 4 seed Mount Olive won a penalty kick shootout over top-seeded Queens in the semifinal round of the 2004 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Men's Soccer Tournament.

The Trojans advance to Sunday's championship against No. 2 Belmont Abbey.

Officially, the game is scored a 1-1 tie, with Mount Olive winning the penalty kick shootout 6-5. Mount Olive is ranked No. 7 in the NSCAA/Adidas Division II Southeast Regional Rankings, while Queens is tied at No. 1 in the region and ranked No. 12 in the nation.

Mount Olive (13-5-3) withstood two early attacks by Queens, including a direct kick from 25 yards out only 20 seconds into the match. Warren Atkins launched a counter-attack for the Trojans, serving a lob over the defense to the right corner and Chris Jasso struck from just outside the box to put Mount Olive on top 1-0 less than four minutes into the match.

Queens (14-1-2) outshot Mount Olive 7-4 in the first half and had numerous attacks that did not result in shots. Olive Carias nearly tied the match in the 34th minute after a Trojan foul resulted in a direct kick from 20 yards out, but his shot went just over the crossbar.

Mount Olive appeared to be heading into halftime with a 1-0 lead, but during the 10-second countdown, Queens served the ball from midfield and Mount Olive was called for a foul in the box with two seconds left in the half. Carias converted the penalty kick and the match was tied 1-1 at halftime.

In the second half, it was Mount Olive outshooting Queens 7-4, but Royals goalkeeper Bruce Mottern made five saves and the match remained tied at the end of regulation. Both teams had early chances in the first overtime and both teams responded with defensive plays to keep the match tied. Mount Olive had a scoring chance in the first minute with an open net, but Demetrius Donald cleared the ball before the Trojans could get to it. One minute later, a loose ball in the box gave Queens an opportunity, but Matt Hobbs cleared the ball out for Mount Olive.

Neither team made any more serious offensive challenges in the rest of the first overtime and most of the second overtime. Mount Olive almost scored the "golden goal" in the final seconds of the second overtime, but Mottern made a save on Atkins' 18-yard shot.

Queens went first in the penalty kick shootout, in which each team gets five attempts, then if it's still tied, the shootout becomes "sudden death." Mount Olive led 2-1 in the shootout after a Queens shot deflected off the right post, but the match was even at 2-2 after Mottern made a save on a Trojan attempt. Trailing 4-3, Atkins put home a penalty kick to even the contest again and force sudden death.

After Queens, went up 5-4, Ryan Brown scored to tie the match again. On Queens' next kick, Roush made a diving save, giving the Trojans a chance for the win. Fuhrer, who had not played during regulation or overtime, scored the game-winner and sent the Trojans into a frenzy as the team poured onto the field in celebration.

Also scoring penalty kicks for the Trojans were Reid Clewis, freshman Adam Caston and Cory Worrell. Worrell, who was named 2004 CVAC Men's Soccer Player of the Year Friday, left the game late in the first half with an injury, but returned early in the second half.

Mount Olive, which fell to Queens 1-0 two weeks ago during the regular season had been eliminated by Queens in five previous meetings in the tournament, including each of the last two years. The Trojans advance to the championship match for the first time since 1996, when they fell to Queens in the final.

Mount Olive defeated Belmont Abbey 2-0 during the regular season. Match time for Sunday's championship is 1:30 p.m.