Boys Varsity Soccer
Underdog Lions Advance to MIAC Finals
By Joshua Woolverton
The Mount Airy Christian Academy (MACA) Lions upset the number one seed in the Maryland Independent Athletic Conference tournament, the Rockbridge Scots. The Lions defeated Rockbridge by a score of 4-1 and have advanced to the conference finals for the first time in three years.
“We knew we had a great opportunity because we had beat this team earlier in the year,” MACA coach Aaron Schuetz said. “We knew if we came out and played hard and executed we would have a good chance to come out ahead.”
The team execution was evident. The Lions went up by three in the first half with goals from Charley Burrall, Nic Moorman, and Chan Oh. In the second half the Scots turned up the pressure and generated a goal, however, Moorman responded with his second goal of the night off a Burrall shot rebound. The goal turned out to be the dagger to put the game away.
“My first goal I was just in the right place at the right time to finish the play,” Moorman said. “The second goal was because Charlie hustled and made that opportunity for me and we got the win.”
MACA goalie, Travis Hovermale, made 22 saves including two one-on-one breakaway stops against Rockbridge’s Luke Sweeney (who scored their team’s lone goal).
“When the ball gets past the defense and it’s just me and him I get in the mindset that the ball is mine,” Hovermale said. “I have to stop it.”
With the win, the Lions advance to the conference finals despite being the lowest-seeded team going into the tournament.
“Throughout the whole season we have been big underdogs and we came into the tournament in last place so to get this win was huge,” Moorman said.
On Friday, the Lions will face Covenant Life in the finals. In their previous two meetings this season, the Lions have not been able to defeat Covenant Life (0-1-1), so they will have to overcome that obstacle.
“We will prepare and at this point, it is just as much about mental preparation as it is physical,” Schuetz said. “I want to see these guys play, practice, and live life with energy and passion. We want to see positive encouragement and that will make for a better soccer team.”