Posted: Nov 27, 2012 2:54 PM
Montgomery, Ala. - The Cougar men's soccer team fell to Mobile (Ala.) University by a score of 2-1 today in second round play of the NAIA Men's Soccer National Championship. The loss marks the end of the season for Columbia, who finish the year with a record of 14-2-6. Mobile improves to 15-4-2 and will advance to Wednesday's tournament quarterfinal against Concordia (Calif.) University.
The first half saw a strong defensive effort from both squads as neither team could get on the scoreboard despite scoring chances on both sides. The Rams outshot the Cougars 6-4 in the opening period, but only registered one shot on-goal. Columbia's Marko Paunovic and Jovan Ilic each put shots on goal that were saved by Mobile keeper Xavier Audergon.
The stingy defense from both teams carried into the second half up until the 68th minute of the contest, when Mobile would score twice in just over a minute. Sam Blackburn found the back of the Cougar net from fifteen yards out for the first Ram score, followed by an insurance goal from Pierre Mangold in the 69th minute. Columbia would cut the lead in half in the 80th minute on a goal by Paunovic, but the two-goal deficit proved too much to overcome in the final minutes for the Cougars.
Junior Matt McKenna started in goal for Columbia, posting one save on the afternoon. The Rams finished the game with 12 shots (three on-goal) compared to 10 (six on-goal) for the Cougars. Dale McCormack assisted on Paunovic's goal.
Mobile and Concordia are scheduled to kick off tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex in Montgomery. The Eagles, ranked No. 4 in the NAIA, advanced with a 4-0 victory over Ashford (Iowa) University on Monday.