Lookout Mountain, GA- Tuesday marked an afternoon of many firsts for the Covenant Scots men's soccer program. Aside from the obvious fact that the 5:00 match against Huntingdon was their first official game of the season, there were many other noticeable differences in a side that enters this season having narrowly missed out on a second straight NAIA National Tournament appearance last term. Gone is former head coach John Miglarese, who resigned to take the head coaching position at John Brown University this past spring. Former fan favorite Sasha Viatrov is also gone, having followed Miglarese to the Arkansas' school. Now, coach Nathan Pifer, a Covenant alum himself, is at the helm, steering the team as they begin their first season under provisional NCAA Division III membership.
After losing a preseason scrimmage to Maryville College, the Scots knew they needed to rebound from the lackluster performance and officially kick off the new season and new era with a win against the visiting Huntingdon College Hawks. And, after less than a minute of play, the Scots appeared to get off to the perfect start as last year's leading scorer, Julian Allgeier, placed a shot into the net. However, he was ruled to have been offsides, and the referee called the goal back. The Scots didn't let up, though, and in the tenth minute senior midfielder Ford Quarterman capitalized on a steal and slotted away the opening goal of the season. Four minutes later, Allgeier scored one that counted after a nice pass from captain David Nielson, and fellow junior David Pifer followed suit as he rounded the keeper for the Scots' third goal in fifteen minutes. At the seventeen minute mark, Pifer turned provider as he played a ball across the box to an open Allgeier, who finished soundly to put the Scots up 4-0. Substitute James Dawson added two goals of his own from Derek Wieldraayer and Colby Robbins' assists, and freshman Tyler Morrison scored one as the Scots dominated Huntingdon 7-0 in the first half. Junior Brian Stair continued the rout in the second half as he sent his shot sailing through goalkeeper Jarryd Keene's legs for the Scots' lone goal of the period. Sophomore goalkeepers John Eger and Matt Higgins each played a half, and both recorded a shutout as Higgins made an acrobatic, diving save to deny Huntingdon's Christian Harmon late on.