Reichenberger's Golden Goal lifts MC to a Western Division Regular Season title

Reichenberger's Golden Goal lifts MC to a Western Division Regular Season title

Randy Reichenberger came through with his second Golden Goal victory of the season, as the Scots toppled William Peace University, 1-0, for their third-consecutive USA South title.

The Scots earned the Western Division Regular Season Crown with the double-overtime victory.

Maryville enters the USA South Tournament as a top-seed and will host the first round on Tuesday night. First touch against LaGrange College is set for 6 p.m. on MC's pitch.

"It's huge for us," Reichenbergere said. "We'll now host the tournament, and we win our division. It's just a great team effort. We just stuck in there and were able to pull it out."

The Scots and William Peace battled the first 104 minutes without a goal, before Reichenberger's heroics kicked in on senior night.

Aaron Rucker posted a shot in the box, as Jacob Smith deflected it away. Reichenberger collected the rebound and lofted a slow, bouncing shot over the keeper for the win in the 105th minute.

He celebrated with a slide across the wet infield, before his teammates dogpiled him.

"I wanted to do that from the start of the game," Reichenberger said. "When we circled up before the game, I said, 'We're gonna score. We're gonna slide, and we're gonna celebrate.' It worked out that way for us."

The seniors celebrated their Senior Day with a bang and a new trophy.

Fernandez said the feat of being winless through the first two USA South matches to winning the Western Division title is an amazing feat for his squad.

"It's got to be one of the most special moments here," Fernandez said. "We've had a lot of them. These kids have been special for an entire month. They've had to kind of retool with losing three really big goal scorers. To come from being 0-2 in the conference to winning it, it's a pretty special achievement."

A key group of seniors that include Reichenberger, Luke Wheat, Ian Schomer, Nate Long, John Nesbit, Kyle Bennett, Bret Thomas and Ryan Jorgensen has held the squad together through that early struggle.

This group has compiled a career record of 59-12-4, while going 35-5-3 in USA South play.

 "These seniors, you heard the announcements. You heard the record and what they've done. That's very obvious. What a lot of people don't realize is that this group hasn't only made Maryville soccer better, but they've made Maryville College better. They've been great students and great leaders. They've been involved in other things other than soccer here, and I couldn't be prouder of them."

Both teams went to the break scoreless at 0-0, as Maryville held an 8-2 shots lead. MC had four shots on goal in the opening half, as the Pacers were held without a shot on frame.

The opening half was a physical one that saw the two squad combine for 13 fouls. Both teams had a pair of corner kicks, while MC was hindered by an offsides call.

At the completion of the match, Maryville outshot their North Carolina counterparts, 20-7. The Scots had 10 shots on goal, as the Pacers saw only three.

A total of 34 fouls and four yellow cards were issued in the contest.

Maryville (11-3-1, 10-2-0 USA South) was led by Reichenberger who had four shots with three on frame. He scored the game-winning goal, while Milan Card had a trio of shots. Long, Chris Fernandez, Gavin Dougherty and Trevor McDonald each had a pair of shots for MC.

Jorgensen was perfect in 104:39 in goal. The senior turned away three saves, including a key stop in the overtime period.

William Peace (8-4-5, 6-3-3) saw Smith record nine saves on the night. Ivan Ponce had a pair of shots to lead the Pacers, as the remaining five were dispersed between five players.