LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Three different players recorded multiple goals, led by Ethan Pettit's hat trick, and the Covenant men's soccer team celebrated Senior Night with a 9-0 drubbing of Berea in USA South action at Scotland Yard on Wednesday night.
The win clinched the No. 3 seed in the West for Covenant (8-11-1, 4-6-1 USA South) in the upcoming USA South Tournament. The Scots will head to Demorest, Ga., on Saturday to face No. 2 seed Piedmont. Match time is set for 3 p.m. The Scots defeated Piedmont 2-0 on Sept. 27 on Lookout Mountain.
Before the match, seven seniors were recognized for their dedication and contributions to the program. Jonathan Crossman, John O'Carroll, Caleb Allen, Isaac Johnson, Henry Paris, Nate Mackey, and Joseph Franks were all honored. All seven of the seniors were members of the 2014 squad that claimed the USA South Tournament title and the program's first NCAA Tournament berth.
Pettit recorded his first career hat trick, while Carl Simakoff and Jake Major had two goals apiece. Johnson and O'Carroll added single scores. Covenant held an impressive 43-2 edge in total shots in the contest, including a 24-0 margin in shots on goal. In the first half alone, Covenant outshot Berea 24-1 and had nine corner kicks.
The nine goals are the most scored by Covenant in a single-match since 2014 when the Scots defeated William Peace 9-1.
The scoring started in the fifth minute. Off a corner kick from Parker Owen, Johnson headed in the ball from short range to give the Scots a 1-0 lead. The score was Johnson's third of the year. In the 21st minute, it was O'Carroll's turn as he converted a penalty kick to make it 2-0. The goal for O'Carroll was the first of his career.
Simakoff then took over the rest of the half. The junior collected his own rebound after a shot attempt and drilled it home in the 27th minute before scoring again on a cross from Allen in the 32nd minute. The scores give Simakoff five on the year and gave Covenant a 4-0 lead heading into halftime.
In the first 12-plus minutes of the second half, it was Pettit's turn. The junior put away a cross from inside the box from Simakoff in the 48th minute giving the Scots a 5-0 lead. In the 52nd minute, a Josh Brower cross again found Pettit and he found the back of the net for a 6-0 lead. Pettit then capped his hat trick with a powerful strike from outside the 18-yard box in the 58th minute giving Covenant a 7-0 edge. Pettit has tallied five goals on the year.
In the final five minutes, Jake Major notched his first two career goals. Josiah McDaniel slotted a through ball towards the top of the box where Major collected, then maneuvered around the Berea keeper before putting his shot in from short range in the 86th minute. Just over a minute later, Anthony Buzzeo found Major in the box with a cross and while Major was sliding through he was able to get a foot on the ball and direct into the net giving the Scots a 9-0 lead.
Crossman and Luke Hunter split time at the net, but neither was required to make a save as Covenant recorded its fifth shutout of the year. Berea (0-17, 0-11 USA South) keeper Noah DeHart was kept busy all night and made 15 saves.
Covenant will begin USA South Tournament play on Saturday at Piedmont in quarterfinal round action. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m.
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