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June 15, 2024 1:32 am

Trojans eliminated by Emmanuel

MOUNT OLIVE – After conceding twice in the final nine minutes of the second half, the No. 5 seeded University of Mount Olive men’s soccer team fell by the score of 2-0 against eighth-seeded Emmanuel in the first round of the Conference Carolinas Championship on Wednesday night at Amon Field.

With the loss, the Trojans finished the season with a 9-6-2 overall record in their first appearance at the Conference Carolinas Championship under first-year head coach Ian Spooner. UMO posted a 6-1-1 mark at home this year and suffered their only loss at Amon Field tonight in postseason play. Meanwhile, the Lions improved to 6-7-2 this season and advanced to face No. 4 seeded Chowan in the quarterfinals.

In the first half, both teams saw limited chances in the opening minutes of the match with sophomore Guilherme Semola registering the first shot at the 8:30 mark, which sailed right of the net. Emmanuel answered with two attempts on goal in the span of two plus minutes but were ultimately stopped by the UMO goalkeeper. Senior Roberto Hernandez saw a header saved by the goalie in the 29th minute before junior Greg Book had an attempt on goal shut down in the closing minutes. The match went into halftime at 0-0 with the Lions holding a slight 5-4 edge in shots.

Emmanuel nearly broke through at the 55:14 mark when freshman Pablo Herrera saved a shot off the line to keep the game scoreless. In the 81st minute, sophomore goalkeeper Axel Engine came up with a fantastic diving save in front of the net to force a corner kick. The Lions delivered the ball into the box and grabbed a 1-0 lead after junior Rafael Calderon scored the opening goal. Just four-plus minutes later, sophomore Lucas Pollacchi scored on a breakaway opportunity to extend the advantage to 2-0 and secure the win.

Engren finished with four saves on 13 shots attempted in 90 minutes of action. Emmanuel held a 13-10 shot advantage, including a 7-3 edge in shots on goal, while also posting a 6-3 lead in corner kicks.

— From University of Mount Olive Athletics