ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. -- The Covenant men's soccer team nearly pulled itself out of a 3-0 hole late in the second half, but the rally fell short for the Scots in a 3-2 loss at North Carolina Wesleyan on Friday afternoon in USA South action.
Covenant (1-5-1, 1-2 USA South) trailed 3-0 in the 86th minute of play, but got on the board with a goal from Jonathan Barrett off a corner kick from Carl Simakoff to make it 3-1. The goal was Barrett's first of the season and his career, while it was the first assist of the year for Simakoff. The Scots cut the margin to 3-2 just over two minutes later when Jesse Riggs found the back of the net, assisted by John O'Carroll. The score was also Riggs' second of the year and the first assist for O'Carroll.
In the waning minutes, Covenant made a push to find the equalizer, but N.C. Wesleyan withstood the rally to take the victory.
N.C. Wesleyan (4-3, 1-0 USA South) got on the scoreboard first in the 39th minute on AJ Wadda's goal, assisted by Drew Wiltse. The host Bishops took that 1-0 lead into halftime. In the second half, N.C. Wesleyan made it 2-0 in the 51st minute on a score from Olafur Einarsson and then took a 3-0 edge in the 66th minute on Joseph Brooks' goal.
Jonathan Crossman (1-4) made a career-high 11 saves on the afternoon, while N.C. Wesleyan keeper Alex Magner (4-3) made five. N.C. Wesleyan held a 30-12 shot advantage, with 14 on goal. Josh Brower and Simakoff each had three shots to lead the Scots.
Covenant will travel south to Fayetteville, N.C., on Saturday to play USA South foe Methodist. Match time is set for 2 p.m.
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