LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- The Covenant men’s soccer team, under first-year head coach Scott Bosgraf, saw improvement in the 2017 season going 9-12-1 overall and advanced to the USA South Tournament semifinals.
After two losses to begin the year, Bosgraf notched his first career coaching win in a 1-0 home victory over Sewanee on Sept. 6. The month of October was the most productive one for the Scots as the team went 6-4, including a USA South Tournament win. In the final home match, the Scots sent their seven seniors out in style with a 9-0 rout of USA South foe Berea.
The Scots were led by the goal scoring efforts of junior Carl Simakoff, who finished the season with six goals and was an All-USA South honorable mention selection. Sophomore Jesse Riggs and junior Ethan Pettit were not far behind, contributing five goals each. Sophomore Josh Brower was also a key contributor to the offense, leading the team, and placing second in the USA South, in assists with nine and leading the team in points with 17, both career highs.
Senior Jonathan Crossman had a solid season at the net for Covenant, earning USA South Defensive Player of the Week honors (Sept. 11) and posting five complete shutouts. Crossman was second in the USA South with 101 saves and tied for third in the USA South with nine wins on the season.
MATCHES OF THE YEAR:
The Scots produced a few noteworthy wins during the year, but none were more important than two victories over Piedmont. Covenant picked up its first conference win of the year on Sept. 27 at home against the Lions by a 2-0 score as Noah Lee scored the eventual game-winner early in the second half before Jonathan Barrett added an insurance goal late in the shutout win.
Just over a month later, Covenant and Piedmont were back at it on the pitch, this time in the quarterfinal round of the USA South Tournament. Playing in cold and rainy conditions in Demorest, Ga., the Scots dominated play from the start. Carl Simakoff and Anthony Buzzeo had first half goals giving Covenant a 2-0 lead before Matt Morefield made it 3-0 in the second half.
Covenant led in every major offensive category in the tournament victory, including holding a 19-8 shot advantage with a 7-1 edge in shots on goal. Crossman only had to make one save in the win as he collected his fifth shutout of the year.
The win advanced the Scots to the semifinal round of the USA South Tournament for the first time since 2014. The two victories over Piedmont on the year continued an impressive streak for Covenant as the Scots moved to 12-0-1 all-time against the Lions.
Before the season began, the Scots were able to take a short mission trip to the Cayman Islands. Nearly all returning players made the trip that started on Aug. 2 and ran until Aug. 13. During their stay, the Scots were able to run soccer clinics for local kids and use the platform to present the gospel. The team also attended Boatswain Bay Presbyterian Church to fellowship with believers and assisted with church projects. Finally, the team worked with Street Evangelism and had the opportunity to have conversations about the gospel with locals.
Jonathan Crossman: 101 saves, 1.60 goals against average, .748 save percentage, 6 shutouts (5 complete, 1 combined)
Carl Simakoff - honorable mention
USA South All-Tournament:
USA South All-Sportsmanship:
USA South Defensive Player of the Week:
Jonathan Crossman - Sept. 11
USA South Rookie of the Week:
Jake Major - Oct. 30
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTS
Be sure to follow the Scots all season long on athletics.covenant.edu and on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Insta