LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The men's soccer team finished the 2012 season with a 10-10-1 record and reached the NCCAA Mid-East Region Championship match. The Scots got off to a rough start, losing five of their first six matches, but then won six of seven to climb back over the .500 mark.
Covenant's attack was centered around junior Matt Hudnut, senior Tyler Morrison, and junior Garrison Dale who combined to score 21 of Covenant's 35 goals this season. Hudnut had a flair for the dramatic as he had a pair of "golden goals" on back-to-back nights in September to kickstart the Scots' winning streak. Morrison had a hat trick in a 4-3 overtime loss at Emory, while Dale scored two goals in a 2-0 win over Maryville.
Hudnut was named NCCAA Player of the week on September 24 after he recorded those two game-winning goals in overtime. Sophomore Hudson Brock was also tabbed as an NCCAA Player of the Week on October 31.
Covenant had four players on the NCCAA Mid-East All-Region team led by senior Chris Pifer, sophomore Hunter Harrison, senior goalkeeper Shuler Polk, and Hudnut. Polk allowed 25 goals on the year for a 1.38 goals against average. Pifer produced two scores, both coming on penalty kicks, while Harrison also found the net twice from his defender position.
Pifer was also voted as a second team NCCAA All-American earlier this week. Pifer is the first Scots player to receive All-American status since 2010.
One of the key highlights as a team was a 2-0 road win over Maryville College on October 2. The win meant Covenant brought back the Highland Cup, a trophy awarded to the winner of the matchup between the two schools who share the "Scots" nickname, for the first time since its inception a few years ago.
Covenant got off to a rocky start as they were defeated by No. 3-ranked Messiah to begin the season and would lose two more before earning its first win over Spalding. The Scots would win six of seven matches from September 19-October 6.
The men earned the third-seed in the NCCAA Mid-East Region tournament. The Scots routed Campbellsville 4-1 in the semifinal round, but fell 1-0 to Union (Tenn.) in the region championship match. The loss marked the second consecutive season that Covenant finished runner-up in the region.
Before the season even began, the team had the opportunity to go on a Missions trip to the Cayman Islands. The Scots played several games against local competition and also shared the Gospel with local youth players and other residents.
The Scots lose five seniors from this season's squad however, Hudnut and Dale look to return next year, along with four other players that started at least 10 matches this season for head coach Nathan Pifer.
**This is the third in a week-long series recapping the fall sports season at Covenant. Below are links and a schedule to the rest of the season recaps.
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