Courtesy of the Gordon Sports Information Department.
WENHAM, Mass. – Gordon College men's soccer claimed the 2018 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Championship hardware after a goal with just over two minutes remaining in the first overtime lifted the No. 3 Fighting Scots to a 1-0 win over No. 5 Roger Williams University this afternoon at Gordon's Brigham Athletic Complex.
The win marks the Scots' sixth CCC title in program history and first since 2015.
After a relatively quiet first half where both teams traded possession but generated few threatening scoring chances, the game headed into the break at a nil-nil draw.
The second half was a different story, however, as a 10-minute spurt of heavy rain followed by 45 minutes of high winds made for wild conditions and action with both teams searching for the elusive go-ahead goal. In the 78th minute it looked like the Scots had found it when Ian Burkhart (Lancaster, Pa.) served up a direct into the area which Josh Beveridge (Anchorage, Alaska) flicked over on rushing RWU keeper Edmund Geschickter (Brookline, Mass.), but Hawks defender David Majetich (Williamstown, Mass.) was on the endline to head the ball to safety and keep the game deadlocked at 0-0.
Then, with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, the Hawks' Stathi Panagiotidis (Norwalk, Conn.) nearly broke the silence after hitting a low driven shot from 25 yards out to the left post, but Gordon netminder Wesley Sprague (Naperville, Ill.) sprawled out to make the save and Stephen Heintz (Boxford, Mass.) cleared it away to keep the game scoreless and force extra time.
Neither team was able to put shots on frame in the early minutes of overtime, but the Scots seized their opportunity when awarded a corner at the 96:54 mark. Burkhart stepped up to tee a serve to the far post that ping-ponged around the box before eventually kicking out to him again at the left corner of the area. With the game on the line, he settled, dodged one defender, and fired a knuckler towards the right post which deflected off the leg of a RWU defender and into the side-netting for win.
With the W, the Scots, now 12-6-1 overall on the season, earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament which begins on Saturday, Nov. 10. The 62-team field will be announced on Monday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m.
The Hawks wrap their 2018 campaign with a final record of 16-5.
Beyond the Box Score:
- Since conference records began in 1989, Gordon has appeared in 11 CCC Finals (1990*, 1992*, 1993*, 1999, 2001, 2003*, 2005, 2014, 2015*, 2017, 2018*) with an overall record of 6-5. * denotes win
- The Scots and Hawks have clashed in the CCC Final five times (2018, 2005, 2003, 2001, 1999). RWU leads the series 3-2.
- Said Head Coach Matt Horth: "What a game! All credit to the players for their hard work and determination throughout some pretty tricky weather. They were together, heart and soul, for the entire match. I'm thrilled and thankful for the Gordon community as well, and we're delighted to share this occasion with them!"
2018 CCC MEN'S SOCCER TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
All matches hosted by higher seed
Quarterfinals – Sunday, Oct. 28
Semifinals – Wednesday, Oct. 31
Finals – Saturday, Nov. 3
#3 Gordon def. #5 Roger Williams, 1-0 (OT) | BOX
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of nine full member and one associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.