Trojan men pull off opening-round upset
By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on October 26, 2006 2:44 PM
BELMONT -- Mount Olive's eight men's soccer seniors had one shot to have a chance to finish their collegiate playing careers on their home field. Literally, one shot.
Ryan Adamski scored a goal 86 seconds into the match -- Mount Olive's only shot of the contest -- and goalkeeper Chase Smith made it stand as the seventh-seeded Trojans defeated No. 2 seed Belmont Abbey 1-0 in the first round of the 2006 Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference Men's Soccer Tournament Wednesday at Belmont.
The win advances the regionally seventh-ranked Trojans to the semifinal round against No. 3 seed Limestone Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Trojan Field. Mount Olive is the host for the semifinal and championship rounds of the 2006 CVAC Men's and Women's Soccer Tournaments.
Mount Olive (12-7-0) scored the only goal of the match when Adrian Daniels captured a loose ball at the center of the Belmont Abbey half and played it to Woody Stilley above the box. Stilley played the ball wide to his right to Adamski, who put the ball in the back of the net from 25 yards out for his fourth goal of the season.
"Woodrow (Woody Stilley) played a perfect ball to me and fortunately the ball went in," said Adamski, a senior from Graham.
Belmont Abbey (13-5-2) controlled possession for the remainder of the half, but the regionally fifth-ranked Crusaders managed only four shots in the first half. Trojan defender Brandon Mills prevented a close-range shot by clearing the ball from in front of the right post and Charles Williams cleared another deep ball out of the box.
The last Belmont Abbey shot came on a restart from 25 yards out after a Trojan foul with no time left on the clock. The half ended when the Crusaders' shot was blocked by the Trojan wall.
When Mount Olive played at Belmont Abbey two weeks ago, Stilley scored a goal two minutes into the match and the Trojans led 1-0 at halftime, but that would be the Trojans' only goal as Belmont Abbey went on to a 3-1 victory. Trojan head coach Jerry Riggs was worried about déjà vu all over again.
"I was excited when we scored the goal, then wondered if lightning was going to strike twice," said Riggs. "We talked about that game during halftime and told our guys they need to stay focused the next 45 minutes."
Belmont Abbey was winning the overwhelming majority of balls at midfield when Riggs inserted Matt Hobbs, who had been out with an injury since September 23.
"We told Hobbs he had one job to do and that was to win balls in the midfield," said Riggs.
"And just like he did in the conference championship game here two years ago, he got the job done today."
The Trojans started winning more balls at midfield, but that effort was offset by the foul count against Mount Olive, resulting in numerous restarts in the Trojan half. Mount Olive was whistled for 33 fouls, compared to nine for Belmont Abbey.
The most dangerous restart came in the 77th minute when Nick Wyatt fired a low bending line drive from 40 yards out. Smith dove to his right to make the save. That shot was one of many dangerous opportunities for the Crusaders in the final minutes.
"Belmont Abbey was relentless," said Smith, who posted his third shutout in his last four matches. "They kept the pressure on the entire match."
Belmont Abbey had another opportunity in the final minutes on a loose ball directly in front of the Trojan goal, but Ryan Capdepon cleared the ball out of bounds.
The Crusaders had a corner kick in the 86th minute and had two restarts, as well as two throw-ins from left of the 18, but the Trojans blocked the lone shot during the final minutes. On Belmont Abbey's final possession with 15 seconds remaining, the ball went over the end line, resulting in a goal kick as Smith was able to run the clock out.
Mount Olive picked up the win, despite being outshot 11-1. Smith finished with five saves for the Trojans.
The win ended Belmont Abbey's 15-match home unbeaten streak, including a 10-0-0 mark this season. Mount Olive extended its unbeaten streak on the Crusaders' home field to three, at least in conference tournament matches.
"Coach (Riggs) told us about their streak and our match on this field," said Capdepon, a senior from Jacksonville. "We were able to keep our streak going."
Mount Olive defeated Belmont Abbey by an identical 1-0 score in the championship game of the 2004 CVAC Tournament at Belmont.
The Trojans celebrated Senior Day Saturday in their regular season finale, but now the seniors get to continue their collegiate careers at Trojan Field. Wednesday's win is especially sweet for Adamski, one of four seniors who had to miss the 2004 tournament due to injury.
"It's fantastic that we get to come back and play again on our home field," said Adamski. "This is my first time in the 'final four' and I'm excited to get to play this year."
For Smith, the win means getting to 'play' instead of 'work.'
"If we hadn't won today, we would have had to work as servers at the banquet Friday," said Smith.
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