Men’s soccer team shaping up well for post-season play

Gavin Dougherty, Sophomore defender, takes the ball upfield in the team’s home game against N.C. Wesleyan. – MacKenzie Yaksic

The mens soccer team sits in good standing for post-season tournament play. They currently have a strong record of 9-1-1 in Conference after their recent tie with Greensboro College on Oct. 21, and look forward to their last game of the regular season on Oct. 25 at home against Piedmont.

The mens team started their season with a six-game winning streak, but failed to outscore Emory College on Sept. 20. The opponent’s goal came late in the game in the 80th minute.

However, since then, the team rebounded remarkably and went on another six-game winning streak. That streak began with a 4-1 victory at Berea College on Sept. 27. Goals came from Junior Johnny Rakmonberdiev, Senior Cody Vankerschaever, Sophomore Jameson Elmore and Sophomore Aaron Rucker.

The Scots then showed out for a 6-0 shutout at home against LaGrange College on Sept. 30. With some gaining confidence, the team then proved victorious against a tough competitor, Centre College. The final score of this game was 2-0. Goals came from Rakmonberdiev and Junior forward, Bret Thomas, who got his first goal of the season.

The following game on Oct. 1 at Brevard proved to be a tough challenge for the team. The final score ended in a narrow 1-0 victory, with the only score coming from Sophomore Michael Quatrano in the 109th minute.

As if the team has an aptitude for close competitions, they skimmed by their next competitor in a 1-0 victory, as well. The game was played at home on Oct. 7, against Methodist College. The game was scoreless until the first overtime, when Vankerschaever scored in the first 30 seconds of overtime. They celebrated wildly after the goal, for they proved tough against hard competitors and were willing to battle hard.

Bret Thomas, Junior Forward, dribbles against N.C. Wesleyan’s defense during the team’s home game on October 15. – MacKenzie Yaksic

The team then packed up the bus and took their talents to Covenant College to battle the Covenant Scots. Maryville proved themselves to be the stronger group of Scots when they finished the game in a 3-1 victory. Elmore showed out in his time on the field and was able to put in two goals. A late goal was then placed in the back of the net by Junior Randy Reichenberger off a long throw-in by Vankerschaever.

On Oct. 15, the Scots faced their rivals from Conference Finals in 2016. In a battle against the belligerent players of N.C. Wesleyan the Scots seemed unable to find the net and lost in a 0-1 battle. The Scots retained their dignity and respect, though, as the opponents incited vocal fights with the bystanding attendants.

During the following weekend, Maryville secured a 7-1 victory over William Peace on Oct. 20, but ended in a tie with Greensboro College on Oct. 21. The game ended after two overtimes and 110 minutes of playing time, only to be 0-0.

There are other good teams in the conference, but weve played them and know that we can beat them,” said Junior starting defender Nate Long. “Were excited for the tournament and the chance to prove ourselves as the best in the conference.

The teams final regular season game will be held on Oct. 25, at home at 6:30p.m. The team will be facing yet another Conference power, The Piedmont Lions.

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