Matthew Othus and Victorian Zelvin
The men’s soccer team ended their regular season this week with 3 straight wins against ODAC competitors. The men’s beat Bridgewater College, Washington & Lee and Emory & Henry College. The contests against Washington & Lee and Emory & Henry were the final 2 home games for the Maroons this season. In addition, last Monday, Men’s Soccer Head Coach Scott Allison announced his plans to retire from coaching at the conclusion of this current season. Coach Allison has helmed the Men’s Soccer program for 27 years and is an alumnus of Roanoke College (79) and played two sports as a student. Over his long career, the team has earned 305 match victories, which credits Allison with the most wins in the 66-year history of the sport at Roanoke College. This season he has led Roanoke College to a record of 10-4-1 and 8-2-1.
The men’s team faced off in a contest against The Washington & Lee Generals on Tuesday as part of Coach Allison’s final home game. The team placed the 2 top ranked teams in the ODAC on the same field. The Generals were ranked #1 in ODAC and the Maroons were #2 going into the game. The competition opened very quickly, but both teams played very good defense until the 26th minute when Chris Conover scored his 1st of 3 goals, giving the Maroons a jolt of momentum. 4 Minutes later, Conover scored his second goal of his hat trick, kicking a wild shot from the far right side of the goal putting the Maroons up 2-0.
The game was very aggressive after the break and the Maroons netted 3 yellow cards in about a 20 minute period. During the end of the first period and into the second, the referee made several calls that he reversed moments later, and he seemed to be ignoring un-sportsman like conduct, to the displeasure of the crowd. The 4th yellow card in the 2nd period was against the goalie of the Generals when he intentionally grabbed the leg of Chris Conover to prevent him from scoring a goal. Conover was awarded a penalty kick which he put in the right corner of the net finishing off his hat trick and scoring the 3rd and final goal of the game. This victory propelled them to first place in the ODAC conference which they maintained by winning their game this past Tuesday.
Their game on Tuesday was against Emory & Henry, the Maroons won 2-1 to secure the first place in ODAC and the first seed in the ODAC tournament. The game opened fast with a goal by AJ Tierce in the 14th minute putting the Maroons up 1-0. Emory & Henry scored a goal with 1/10 of a second left in the first period to tie the game 1-1. No goals were scored in the 2nd half or in the first overtime period. However, with 9 seconds left in the overtime period AJ Tierce scored the game winning goal and his 6th goal of the season.
In his final pre-home game speech, Coach Allison encouraged his players to “start the journey for ODAC tonight!” The ODAC Tournament will begin the quarterfinal round matches on Saturday, October 27th. Allison’s ODAC record boasts 158 wins, which is the most in the nearly forty year history of the ODACs. Coach Allison is also one of only 36 coaches in NCAA Division III men’s soccer history with 300 wins, and ranks 22nd amongst active NCAA Division III coaches.