Maryville reaches USA South finals, as Rakhmonberdiev's goal knocks off Pride

Maryville reaches USA South finals, as Rakhmonberdiev's goal knocks off Pride

Maryville College advanced to the USA South finals on Saturday, as the Scots battled to a 1-0 win over Greensboro College on Friday afternoon.

MC's Johnny Rakhmonberdiev was the hero, as he took a pass Cody VanKerschaever in the 61st minute of action for the only goal of the match. Goalkeeper Ryan Jorgensen would record four saves in the 90-minute match to earn his 16th win of the season.

The Scots (16-2-1) advance to face N.C. Wesleyan College (14-5) on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the Battling Bishops' pitch. N.C. Wesleyan defeated Covenant College, 3-0, on Friday.

Maryville and Greensboro College went to the half tied a nil, as the Pride outshot the Scots, 7-2. Greensboro had two shots on goal, as Ryan Jorgensen turned away each. MC tallied one shots on goal, with Jaime Payamps recorded the save.

Maryville was hindered by three offside penalties in the half, while neither squad recorded a corner kick.

Back-to-back corner kicks at the 52nd minute in the second half gave the Pride their best opportunity. Maryville turned away both attempts to keep the match scoreless. The Scots' corner kick in the 53rd minute was turned away, before Jordy Briceno's shot was saved by Jorgensen a minute later — both offenses clicking at a higher rate in the second stanza.

Maryville put the first points on the board in the 61st minute. VanKerschaver collected a pass 10 yards in front of the box, pushing it forward. He found a streaking Rakhmonberdiev at the 18, as the sophomore rushed past his defender, lofting a shot from the right into the upper left of the net over a diving Payamps. With 60:30 showing on the clock, Maryville led 1-0 behind Rakhmonberdiev's 11th goal of the year.

In the 86th, Greensboro had a key chance, as Darli Mihindou's shot hit the post. Just inside the 87th minute, the Pride would have another chance behind a Scots' foul just outside the box on the left side. The free kick sailed into the box, as Greensboro's shot rattled just wide-left.

The Pride would continue their attack in the final five minutes, as Gerardo Peraza would take a corner kick with 1:50 left. Jorgensen would cover it, as the Scots would win the semifinal, 1-0.

Greensboro outshot Maryville, 11-6, as the Scots posted four shots on goal to three for MC.

The Pride (15-5-1) was led by Jordy Briceno who had four shots with a pair on goal. Carlos Barragan added a pair of shots with one on goal.

For Maryville, Randy Reichenberger and Michael Quatrano each had two shots, as Quatrano added one on goal. Rakhmonberdiev had the goal, as VanKerschaever added the assist.