Jake Major scored the game-winning goal in the final minute of the second overtime to cap a 2-1, comeback victory for the Covenant men's soccer team over Piedmont on Wednesday evening at the Walker Athletic Complex in Demorest.
The win vaulted Covenant (9-5-1, 6-2-1 USA South) into sole possession of first place in the USA South West Division. The Scots sit one point ahead of Piedmont (7-2-3, 5-1-3 USA South) and four in front of Maryville, with Covenant having three regular season matches left.
Major's goal came in the final minute of the second overtime.
Josh Brower's free kick from the right-side of the box crossed into the 18 and found the head of Major, who knocked it into the net from the top of the six and past Piedmont keeper Blayton Duncan for the score in the 110th minute.
The goal was Major's fifth of the year and his first career game-winner. Brower was credited with his fourth assist of the season.
The match would not have gone into overtime had Covenant not erased a one-goal deficit in the final 10 minutes of regulation. In the 82nd minute, the Scots finally broke through as Mercer Stout played a short pass to Austin Berry inside the box. Berry controlled the ball off his chest to his foot where he got off a strong attempt into the lower corner of the net to even the score at 1-1.
The goal was Berry's second of the season.
Covenant outshot Piedmont throughout the contest, but fell behind in the first half. Piedmont's Nick Pope scored in the 19th minute, assisted by both Cameron Earls and Victor Munoz, to put the host Lions ahead 1-0.
In the first overtime, Covenant had two chances but Parker Owen's attempt was saved by Duncan and Anthony Buzzeo's header missed high. In the final extra session, Paul Lemay made two saves at the net for the Scots to keep the match alive ahead of Major's golden goal.
Lemay made three saves in the victory, while Duncan tallied six saves. Covenant held an 18-9 margin in total shots, and 8-4 in shots on target.
The win for the Scots also kept an unbeaten streak alive against Piedmont. Covenant is 13-0-1 all-time in the series between the programs, dating back to 1995, and the Scots are 3-0-1 in overtime contests.
Covenant's road match at Pensacola Christian scheduled for Monday, Oct. 22 has been cancelled. The match was called off due to previous schedule changes by Covenant.
The Scots will have a week off before hosting LaGrange for a USA South match on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 4 p.m.