Zach Wallace’s goal in the 43rd minute proved to be the difference as the University of the Cumberlands men’s soccer team defeated Shawnee State 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the Mid-South Conference tournament Friday night at East Warren High School. With the win the Patriots advance to the semifinals next Thursday against Lindsey Wilson.
Shawnee State (5-12-1) tried to get on the board but Martyn Sayer’s shot was blocked by the Patriots backline. Ten minutes into the first half Max Aken-Tyers sent a laser shot towards the goal, which was saved by Cody Hartong to keep the game scoreless. Cumberlands continued to apply the pressure and controlled the ball for majority of the first half. The Patriots looked to get on the board in the 30th minute as Nicklas Nancke sent a cross into the box, just out of the reach of Aken-Tyers. The game would remain scoreless until the 43rd minute when Wallace dribbled around a Bears defender, up the endline and put a well-placed shot past the keeper from point blank range to give the Patriots a 1-0 lead at the break.
It was a defensive battle in the second half as Cumberlands (6-10-3) was forced to played man-down for the final 35 minutes of the game. Joey Ferguson looked to extend the Patriots lead in the 59 minute as he put a shot on target, but it was saved by Hartong. Three minutes later Shawnee State sent a shot towards the goal, but Ahmed Ghatwary came up with the save to keep the score 1-0. Cumberlands was in a defensive stance for majority of the final 30 minutes and limited Shawnee State to three shots preserving the 1-0 victory.
It was Wallace first game-winning goal of his career and his third goal of the season. Ghatwary finished the game with one save to earn his fifth shutout of the season. The backline quartet of Jack Baldwin, Jack Hutton, William Johnston, and Anton Lanerva helped limit the Bears to six shots in the game.
This win is Cumberlands first win in the Mid-South Conference tournament since 2012 when they defeated Bluefield 4-1.
The Patriots will return to the pitch Thursday, November 10, when they travel to Bowling Green, KY to face top-seed Lindsey Wilson in the semifinals. The game is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. EST.
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Sports Information Director