Cooper Gaypia and Nikolai Iotov scored second-half goals for University of Mount Olive, but a putback on a missed penalty kick was the difference as the Trojans fell to Limestone College 3-2 in Conference Carolinas men's soccer Saturday at Gaffney, S.C. The loss was Mount Olive's first this season when scoring at least two goals. All of the scoring took place in the second half.
Mount Olive (7-7-0 overall, 5-4-0 Conference Carolinas) was down 2-1 when Sean Lockett played a deep restart from midfield to Malick Chune, who one-touched the ball to Iotov in the box. Iotov scored from 10 yards out to tie the match 2-2 at the 64:31 mark.
Limestone (11-3-0, 6-3-0) regained the lead for good at 73:35 after Mount Olive was called for a foul in the box for the second time in the half. Trojan goalkeeper Nick Bernsdorf stopped Harry Cooksley's pk attempt, but Gui Machado put home the rebound to put the Saints on top to stay. Cooksley converted a match-tying penalty kick seven minutes into the second half.
Mount Olive had its best opportunity to tie the match in the 86th minute when a cross from the left side set up a Kenneth Gilliam header, but the shot was just wide. The Trojans hoped to be awarded a corner kick in the 89th minute after the ball went over the end line on a 50-50 challenge, but the ball was ruled to have gone off of Mount Olive and Limestone was awarded a goal kick.
After being limited to a single shot in the first half, Mount Olive needed just three minutes in the second half to get on the scoreboard. Louis Gorman played a long service from inside the Trojan half to Gaypia in the Limestone third. Gaypia dribbled past the Saints' defender and rifled a shot from 15 yards out to put the Trojans on top 1-0 at the 48:01 mark. Gaypia's goal ended Mount Olive's streak of four consecutive matches of allowing the first goal.
Cooksley tied the match for Limestone with his penalty kick three minutes later, then gave the Saints their first lead at 2-1at the 55:50 mark. Cooksley scored from in front of the left post after a cross from the right side by Jorge Salvat.
Mount Olive was outshot 16-7 for the match, but held a 7-5 corner kick advantage. Bernsdorf recorded three saves for the Trojans. The match saw a total of 52 fouls with Limestone holding the 27-25 edge.
The scoreless first half marked the sixth time in Mount Olive's last seven matches the Trojans have not allowed a goal before halftime. The lone goal allowed during the stretch was a penalty kick against USC Aiken two matches ago.
Mount Olive returns to action Wednesday as the Trojans travel to Newberry, S.C., to take on Newberry College in a non-conference match-up. Match time is 3 p.m.
The Trojans conclude regular season play next Saturday with a Conference Carolinas contest at Emmanuel College.