Falcons to play for conference tournament championship

Published 11:00 pm Friday, November 2, 2012


EVANS, Ga. – The University of Montevallo men’s soccer team knocked off nationally-ranked Flagler College 2-0 in a Peach Belt Conference tournament semifinal match Nov. 2 at Blanchard Woods Park in Evans, Ga. to earn its third consecutive trip to the conference tournament championship match.

The Falcons (12-4-2), the tournament’s No. 2 seed, will face No. 8 seed USC Aiken in the championship match Sunday, Nov. 4 at 2:30 p.m. at Blanchard Woods Park. Montevallo is looking for its fourth conference tournament championship, including its first championship since capturing the Peach Belt Conference tournament title in 2010.

The Falcons defeated USC Aiken 1-0 in double overtime in the regular season meeting between the two teams Oct. 13. USC Aiken edged Young Harris College in a round of penalty kicks to advance to the title match following a 3-2 win over the Pacers in the conference tournament semifinals.

The Falcons scored a pair of goals on just six total shot attempts in the semifinal victory over Flagler, the No. 3 seed in the conference tournament.

Montevallo took a 1-0 lead over the Saints in the 11th minute when junior defender Gary O’Neill collected the rebound off a free kick into the box and fired a shot past Flagler goalkeeper Camp Bissell. The goal was O’Neill’s second goal of the season.

Freshman forward Pierre Omanga netted his team-leading 12th goal of the season in the 79th minute to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead and cap the scoring in the match. Omanga beat the Flagler goalkeeper in a one-on-one situation to clinch the victory for Montevallo.

Montevallo junior goalkeeper Brendan Ledgeway finished with two saves as he posted his 29th career shutout, including his 10th shutout of the season, in the win over Flagler. Ledgeway’s microscopic 0.53 goals against average, if maintained through the end of the season, would rank him third all-time in Peach Belt Conference history.

All-tournament passes and single-session tickets are available for the Peach Belt Conference tournament championship match. Adult all-tournament passes are available for $10, with all-tournament passes for youth 12-and-under available for $5.

Adult single-session tickets are available for $6, with youth 12-and-under single-session tickets available for $3.

Visit www.peachbelt.com/information/12soccertournament/index#tickets for more information.

Montevallo players to participate in Breakfast with the Champions…

Montevallo men’s soccer players will participate in Breakfast with the Champions as it returns for the fifth year during the 2012 Peach Belt Conference soccer tournament.

Breakfast with the Champions allows youth soccer participants, ages 6-12, an opportunity to connect with collegiate soccer student-athletes through a mini-clinic and fun soccer activities. The clinic will be held on the team’s day off in between the semifinal match and championship match, Saturday, November 3, 2012. Activities will begin at 8:30 a.m.

Falcons highest remaining seed in the tournament…

The Falcons, the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, advanced to the semifinal match following a 1-0 victory over No. 7 seed Clayton State University in a quarterfinal match Oct. 30. Flagler, the tournament’s No. 3 seed, advanced to the semifinal match with a 2-1 win over No. 6 seed North Georgia in the quarterfinals.

Montevallo is the highest remaining seed in the conference tournament following top-seeded Lander University’s loss to USC Aiken in the quarterfinals.

Falcons among the top defensive teams in NCAA Division II…

The Falcons continue to rank among the best defensive teams in NCAA Division II men’s soccer. Montevallo entered the Peach Belt Conference tournament with a 0.56 shutout percentage, which ranks No. 5 nationally in NCAA Division II, after posting 10 total shutouts through its first 17 matches. The Falcons rank sixth nationally in NCAA Division II with a 0.59 goals against average.

Ledgeway entered the conference tournament with a 0.562 goals against average, which ranks him No. 6 nationally among NCAA Division II goalkeepers.

Sophomore Giuliano Frano is among the national assists leaders in NCAA Division II. Frano’s nine assists this season rank him No. 11 nationally in the division.

Montevallo looking for fourth conference tournament title…

The Falcons are searching for their fourth conference tournament championship in school history after claiming a pair of Gulf South Conference tournament titles in 1999 and 2004 and a Peach Belt Conference tournament championship in 2010.

Falcons looking to improve NCAA Division II tournament resume…

Montevallo was ranked No. 7 in the latest NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings, which were released Oct. 31. The top six teams in the rankings in the final poll earn a berth in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region tournament.

Four Peach Belt Conference teams are currently ranked in the poll. Lander University is the top-ranked team in the poll, followed by Flagler College at No. 2 in the rankings. UNC Pembroke is ranked No. 4 in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region poll.

Montevallo has defeated Flager in two meetings this season, including a 4-1 win over the Saints in the regular season and a 2-0 win in the Peach Belt Conference tournament semifinals.

The Falcons defeated UNC Pembroke 3-0 in their Peach Belt Conference opener in the lone meeting between the two teams this season. Montevallo fell to Lander University 1-0 in double overtime during the regular season.

The NCAA Division II men’s soccer tournament brackets will be announced Nov. 5 at 6 p.m.