Nick Bernsdorf recorded the game-winning save in a penalty kick shootout as No. 4 Seed University of Mount Olive advanced past King University in the opening round of the Conference Carolinas men's soccer tournament in Raleigh, N.C. Tuesday afternoon. The match was moved from Mount Olive to the CASL Field in Raleigh, N.C. due to field conditions at Amon Field. Mount Olive won the shootout 3-1.
Mount Olive (8-8-1) needed not only two extra times but a penalty kick shootout to take a marathon match over King (5-8-3) as neither team could find the go ahead goal during regulation.
The Trojans controlled the first half as Mount Olive outshot the Tornando 9-to-2 and also picked up two corner kick opportunities. In the final minute of the second half King struck for goal twice. Luis Calderon took a shot 10 yards out that bounced off the cross bar and into the feet of the Tornando. Calderon struck again off the rebound but Bernsdorf made a last second grab for the save to force overtime.
During the first extra time Mount Olive looked for the golden goal on a shot from just outside the box, however the shot floated just above the net. The second overtime period saw the Trojans strike on goal three times but Mount Olive was unable to find the back of the net. The final whistle blew and a penalty shootout was needed to decide the match.
The last time Mount Olive was involved in a shootout was back in the Conference Carolinas tournament in 2012 when the Trojans defeated Erskine 4-1 in penalty kicks.
Mount Olive made its first two attempts as Hyago Matielo and Malik Chune beat the keeper. Bernsdorf also saved the first two attempts from King. After a Trojan miss, Sean Lockett came up to put Mount Olive a head and take what became the game-winning shot. Following Lockett's shot, Bernsdorf took his position in front of the net as King was down to their final shot attempts. The shot went to Bernsdorf's right and the Trojan keeper was able to get a hand on it and deflect it into the post to deny the goal.
After the match Bernsdorf talked about what it was like to represent Mount Olive in two penalty shootouts during his career.
"It was weird freshamn year starting off like this going to pk's and saving the first two today just like in 2012. In my head I was thinking that it is not that big of a deal because I have always felt very confident on penalty kicks. I knew we were going to lead ourselves to a victory."
Bernsdorf continued about the team's outlook moving forward.
"Right now we are happy for this decision. We are excited to face either Barton or Pfeiffer on Friday."
Mount Olive awaits its' fate as the Trojans will face either No. 1 Seed Pfeiffer University or No. 8 Seed Barton on Friday. The higher seeded team will host the match at 4 p.m.