Despite controlling majority of the game offensively, including a second half where the Lions outshout the Bulldogs 10-2, it only took one shot in overtime by 8th ranked Union College (Ky.) to defeat 11th ranked Bryan College 1-0 in the 2016 Appalachian Athletic Conference Men’s Soccer Tournament Championship Game, sealing their second consecutive title.
The match was built up to be a memorable contest as Union topped Bryan in last year’s AAC Tourney finals, both teams climbed into the top-10 in the NAIA this season, Union took the regular-season, and earlier this year when the teams met the contest ended scoreless after 110 minutes of play.
Bryan dominated in shots 17-8 but struggled as both teams had only four on target.
Rafael Mentzingen and Kevin Roenpage led the Lions in looks with four apiece and were followed by Jason Ward and Charlie Clarke who each connected for two shots, respectively.
As the second half came to a close with neither team on the board, extra time was needed to determine the AAC champions. Through two overtime periods, the golden goal rule is in effect. If neither team could find the back of the net by the end of the second period, penalty kicks would decide the victor. Unfortunately it only took 3:38 into the first overtime for Union to slip away with a 1-0 win. Bulldog Jake Turnbull used his speed to pass Lions down the right side of the field. He directed the ball inside the box with a cross to a cutting George Carroll who situated himself perfectly to slot the ball far post past the outstretched hands of Bryan’s goalkeeper, Alex Horton. The goal provided Union with the sweep of the AAC regular-season and tournament championships.
Bryan’s season remains remarkable as the Lions finished the regular season with an overall record of 14-1-3 and now sit at 16-2-3 after tourney play, which keeps them as a top-15 team in the nation.
The efforts of Jordan Dunstan, Ward, and Mentzingen led to them earning AAC All-Tournament team honors.