LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN -- Jesse Riggs' penalty kick in the 77th minute and a stout defensive effort from the Covenant men's soccer team lifted the Scots to a pivotal, 1-0, victory over Maryville in USA South action on Saturday night at Scotland Yard.
Covenant (11-2-1, 8-0 USA South) gains sole possession of first place in the USA South West Division with the win. The Scots finish the regular season home schedule with a 7-0 record and outscored opponents 22-1.
Before the match, Covenant honored its senior class of nine players: Josh Brower, Anthony Buzzeo, Paul Lemay, Connor McGimsey, Matt Morefield, Colby Pepper, Jesse Riggs, Seth Robinson, and Blake Thomas. The group has helped the Scots to 25 wins since the start of last season.
It was the senior Riggs that ended up converting Covenant's best chance to score. After Parker Owen was fouled in the box in the 77th minute, Riggs stepped up and capitalized on the opportunity by getting his penalty shot past Maryville keeper Mykal Manfred for the goal.
The score was Riggs' fourth of the year and his third penalty kick.
Covenant then held off Maryville (9-5, 7-2 USA South) over the final 13 minutes. The northern Scots had two shots over the final 10 minutes, including an attempt from Aaron Rucker in the 84th minute that was saved by Lemay.
Lemay finished with seven saves on the night as he recorded his sixth shutout of the year. It was the seventh shutout for Covenant overall.
Covenant out-shot Maryville, 12-11, but the penalty kick was the only shot on target for Covenant on the night. Owen led Covenant with four attempts, while Johnny Rakhmonberdiev led all players with five shots. Manfred ended the night without recording a save at the net for Maryville.
The physical match, a rematch of the 2018 USA South Tournament championship saw 30 fouls combined and seven cards, all to Maryville.
Covenant will travel to face LaGrange on Friday, Oct. 18 in a USA South contest. Match time is set for 6 p.m.
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