GAFFNEY, S.C. - The University of Mount Olive men's soccer team defeated Lees-McRae College 3-1 Friday night to advance to the Championship Final of the Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Tournament. UMO advances to the championship game for the first time since 2004, the same year Mount Olive won the conference championship.
Score: Mount Olive 3, Lees-McRae 1
Records: Mount Olive (10-6-2); Lees-McRae (11-5-3)
Location: Gaffney, S.C.
How It Happened
- Mount Olive battled with the No. 2 seed Lees-McRae for most of the first half before MacLayne Gairrett finished off a corner kick from Tyler Hall with a header to the back right of the net to give UMO a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute.
- The Bobcats took four shots in the final 15 minutes but were held scoreless going into the break.
- Lees-McRae was able to find the equalizer in the 50th minute to even the game at one.
- UMO's Baptiste Tajan placed a lead pass in the right place in front of Sebastian Loibl in the 53rd minute to put the Trojans back up 2-1.
- Seven minutes later a Trojan was fouled in the box and a penalty kick was awarded. Nikolai Iotov placed his shot past the LMC keeper in the middle of the net and Mount Olive extended the lead to 3-1.
- The Bobcats did have a chance to draw the game closer, after receiving a penalty kick of their own in the 79th minute. Freshman keeper Preston Snyder thwarted the scoring opportunity and kept LMC out of the net.
- Mount Olive held Lees-McRae to just one shot in the final 10 minutes and took the 3-1 victory.
- Nikolai Iotov and MacLayne Gairrett both scored on their only shots of the game.
- Sebastian Loibl had four shots to go along with his one goal.
- Tyler Hall and Baptiste Tajan each picked up an assist in the win.
- Preston Snyder tallied nine saves playing all 90 minutes in goal.
- "I am so incredibly proud of this team tonight. It took an amazing effort from everyone and I couldn't be happier for the group. It has been a long season of ups and downs but this is so well deserved."
Mount Olive advances to the Conference Carolinas Championship Final to face No. 1 seed Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. on Sunday, November 5 at 2 p.m.