MISENHEIMER, N.C. – Sixth-seeded Belmont Abbey used a pair of second half goals to upset third-seeded Pfeiffer University 2-0 on Wednesday afternoon in the first round of the 2009 Conference Carolinas men’s soccer tournament at N.E. Lefko Field. The Crusaders improve to 11-7-1 overall and will face second-seeded Limestone on Friday afternoon. The Falcons, ranked 24th in the latest NSCAA/adidas soccer poll, drops to 13-5 now awaiting word on a possible berth into the NCAA II postseason.
In a scoreless first 45 minutes of play, Belmont Abbey outshot the Falcons 6-4 as most of the shots came inside the first half hour of action. Alex Landim (Brockton, MA) and Nick Brindley (Northampton, ENGLAND each had early attempts trickle wide as Emmanual Yamson (Silver Springs, MD) for the Crusaders fired one shot into the hands of Pfeiffer keeper Alex Moreno (Huntersville, NC) and sent another attempt high above the net just minutes apart.
In the 58th minute, Yamson took a shot just inside the box that clanked off the crossbar as Belmont Abbey just narrowly missed taking a 1-0 lead. Just past the hour in the 61st minute, Belmont Abbey’s Jack Reid (Nottingham, ENGLAND) sent a long pass down the field to Aaron Weldon (Nottingham, ENGLAND), who chipped the shot over Moreno and into the cage for a 1-0 Crusaders lead.
Seven minutes later, Jose Penaloza (Riverside, CA) stepped inside the 18-yard box, creating separation from the Falcon defense, and created separation on the scoreboard as his shot snuck in under the crossbar putting the visitors up a pair.
Pfeiffer had plenty of scoring chances late in the second half, but couldn’t deposit any goals as Belmont Abbey had nine and ten guys back on defense at different times. Landim again took a shot in the 78th minute, followed by Fahret Salihovic (Charlotte, NC) in the 79th minute and Wilver Menacho (Santa Cruz, BOLIVIA) in the 81st minute, but all three misfired wide right. Belmont Abbey just missed out on a third goal of the day as Julian Ballesteros (Mira Loma, CA) hit the crossbar in the 83rd minute.
Pfeiffer outshot the Crusaders 18-13 in the match while the visitors held a 5-4 advantage with shots on goal. The guests could have had more scoring opportunities, but were whistled for seven offsides in the match. Brandon Alvarez (Dallas, TX) made four saves to earn the shutout while Moreno turned away three.