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Fall Recaps: Men's Soccer

(photo credit: Andrew Mindeman/Sports Information)
(photo credit: Andrew Mindeman/Sports Information)

Final Stats | Final Schedule/Results

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The 2014 edition of the Covenant men's soccer team saw success the program had not seen in seven years. The Scots, under sixth-year head coach Nathan Pifer, took home the USA South tournament championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

The Scots finished the season with a 15-5-2 record, the most wins for the program since 2007, and won a conference tournament championship for the first time since 2004. Covenant had an eight-match win streak from the middle of October through the USA South tournament, the longest streak in four years. Covenant faltered in just one USA South contest, finishing the regular season with an 8-1-1 record in league play, good for the No. 2 seed in the USA South tournament. 

The Scots had six players earn All-USA South honors, while senior Snoopy Davidson took Player of the Year honors. More on those top performers in a bit.

MATCH OF THE YEAR:

Covenant scored big victories throughout the season with wins over Rutgers-Newark, Millsaps, Berry and Greensboro to name a few. But the Match of the Year has to be the USA South tournament championship.

Covenant used three goals in two matches (one vs. Piedmont, two against North Carolina Wesleyan) from Davidson to arrive in the title match against rival Maryville.

The Scots got on the board in the early going as Maryville was called for a foul inside the 18-yard box in the 11th minute. Senior Ian Meredith netted the penalty kick to give Covenant a 1-0 lead. That margin would stand for nearly the rest of the match as the Covenant defense and keeper Daniel Kubin kept the Maryville offense off the board. In the 88th minute, senior Joel Friesen found the back of the net after the ball was deflected around inside the box for a 2-0 lead. 

Two minutes later, the Scots celebrated their conference title. The conference championship was the 15th overall won by the program (counting regular season and conference tournament championships).


Six Scots were named to the All-Tournament team, including Davidson who was named MVP. 

Two days later, Covenant found out they would play Whitworth University in the NCAA Tournament first round in Atlanta, Georgia. A late goal from Whitworth stood up as the Pirates eliminated the Scots 1-0.

TOP PERFORMERS:

This season saw many players with breakout performances. In all, six Scots were selected to All-USA South teams and three made NSCAA All-Region.

Davidson, a senior from Rome, Georgia, was the catalyst offensively for the Scots. Davidson led the team with 12 goals and six assists and was named USA South Player of the Year despite having missed five matches in the middle of the year. Of his 12 goals, four were-game-winners and he had a stretch of six straight matches with at least one goal. Davidson garnered Covenant's first CoSIDA Academic All-America honor and was named NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region second team.

Friesen also put together a career year for the Scots. The senior from Waxhaw, North Carolina, scored eight goals and had four assists on the year. Of his seven goals, he had three-game winners. He achieved his first career hat trick in Covenant's 3-1 season-opening over Rutgers-Newark. Friesen was a two-time USA South Player of the Week honoree earning the honor on Sept. 1 and Sept. 29.

Builder Brock, a senior from Lookout Mountain, Georgia, was also a first team All-USA South choice as he helped Covenant to the second-best team goals against average in the USA South at 0.75 with his work defensively. Brock also scored two goals on the year, both coming in the final two regular season matches.

Senior Hunter Harrison, from Greenville, South Carolina, was named to the USA South All-Conference second team along with the NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region third team. A team captain, Harrison was the leader on the back line for the Scots. He helped lead Covenant to five shutouts before being injured for the rest of the season in mid-October. Harrison also earned NSCAA College Scholar All-South Region honors.

Meredith, a senior from Nairobi, Kenya, and Daniel Kubin, a junior from Rocky Face, Georgia., earned USA South honorable mention. Meredith had a career-high eight goals, with three game-winners, to go along with four assists on the year and was twice named USA South Player of the Week (Sept. 8 and Oct. 13). Kubin produced the third-best goals against average in the USA South at 0.74 and tallied 65 saves and seven shutouts.

Newcomer in sophomore Hunter Brock scored four goals with two assists, while junior Mike Arango tallied three goals and four assists. Covenant also got tremendous work from seniors Hudson Brock, Roy Anderson and Danny Knight along with junior Russell Harrison.

COACH COMMENTS:

On winning the USA South and advancing to the NCAA Tournament:
"It was great to see our team win the conference tournament in our second official year. The team put in a lot of time in the offseason and it paid off. My hopes are that it is a continuing trend and we can start pushing our way into the national tournament even farther."

On Snoopy Davidson, USA South Player of the Year:
"Snoopy came in and lifted the level of our team and being named conference player of the year was a very deserving award." 

On being named the USA South Sportsmanship Award for men's soccer for a second year in a row:
"The team sportsmanship award is also an example of a team that knows how to win the right way and I could not be prouder of these young men. Our goal as a team is to win championships in a way that will glorify God and this team has set the standard."

IN THE RANKS:

  • 367: The average attendance in 11 home matches this season. This ranked Covenant 24th in all of Division III.
  • 51: Total number of goals scored this year, which ranked 32nd in the country and second in the USA South. Snoopy Davidson's 12 goals ranked 62nd in the nation and first in the USA South.
  • 136: Total points accumulated for the team, 42nd-most in the country. Davidson's 1.76 points per match ranked him 38th in the country and his 30 total points was 59th.
  • 0.75: Covenant's goals against average ranked 40th in the nation and Daniel Kubin's 0.74 average was 45th.

AWARD WINNERS:

USA South Player of the Week
Joel Friesen - 2 times (Sept. 1, Sept. 29)
Ian Meredith - 2 times (Sept. 8, Oct. 13)
Snoopy Davidson - (Oct. 27)

USA South All-Conference
Snoopy Davidson - Player of the Year / 1st team
Builder Brock - 1st team
Joel Friesen - 1st team
Hunter Harrison - 2nd team
Ian Meredith - Honorable Mention
Daniel Kubin - Honorable Mention
Hudson Brock - All-Sportsmanship

USA South All-Tournament
Snoopy Davidson - MVP
Daniel Kubin
Builder Brock
Russell Harrison
Joel Friesen
Ian Meredith 

CoSIDA Academic All-America
Snoopy Davidson - 2nd team

CoSIDA Academic All-District
Snoopy Davidson
Joel Friesen

NSCAA All-South Atlantic Region
Snoopy Davidson - 2nd team
Hunter Harrison - 3rd team
Joel Friesen - 3rd team 

NSCAA College Scholar All-South Region
Snoopy Davidson - 2nd team
Hunter Harrison - 2nd team 

USA South Sportsmanship Award
Team

NSCAA Team Academic Award
Team - 2013-14 Academic Year 

Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at FacebookTwitter and Instagram for up-to-date scores, news and other information.

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