Freshman spearheads MOC comeback
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on September 30, 2007 2:17 AM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Drew Toler is quickly turning into 'Mr. Clutch' for the Mount Olive College men's soccer team.
The freshman scored twice with less than five minutes to play, lifting the Trojans to a 2-1 come-from-behind Conference Carolinas win over Anderson University at Amon Field. Toler delivered the game-winning mark with 33 seconds remaining off an assist from Adrian Daniels.
It was Toler's second game-clinching goal in as many matches after recording an 82nd-minute score against UNC Pembroke five days ago.
"I like to take credit for all my goals, and that was just being in the right place at the right time," Toler said. "It just happened to bounce right in front of me and I just put in the goal.
"That was just putting pressure on them and if you put pressure on them things like that will happen."
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Toler's teammates mobbed him at midfield. The Trojans cheered Toler and celebrated their second straight win after going scoreless for 540 minutes -- a stretch of six consecutive games.
"It's nice to win a game like that, especially twice in a week," Toler said. "We're all close on the team, and whoever scores that goal, we're going to go out and chant their name."
Mount Olive (5-6 overall, 1-3 CC) misfired on a golden scoring chance in the opening half. Anderson keeper Freeman Preston snuffed out Adam Caston's penalty kick and the teams entered halftime scoreless.
"That was a good save," Mount Olive coach Jerry Riggs said. "We would have loved to have (scored). Looking backing on it, with what we just experienced emotionally, this is probably better for our team."
Anderson claimed a 1-0 lead in the 59th minute on Zach Denson's unassisted goal off a deflection. The visiting Trojans kept their one-goal advantage until Toler posted the equalizer in the 55th minute.
Mount Olive keeper Ryan McCrickard collected five saves and kept his team within striking distance. Toler's second goal was just the Trojans' third goal overall in their last eight matches.
"The good thing is we're not giving up," Mount Olive coach Jerry Riggs said. "We've got a little freshman right now who's just buzzing. He's got two game-winners right now and hopefully some of the other guys can latch on to it."
The Trojans continue conference play at home Wednesday against in-state rival Pfeiffer University. Game time is 7 p.m.
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