Matthews, N.C. – Anderson University men's soccer avenged its regular season loss to Coker, winning a 2-1 decision over the Cobras in the SAC Championship semifinals on Friday morning at the Sportsplex Matthews in Matthews, N.C.
With the victory, the Trojans improve to 12-5-1 overall, while the Cobras season closes with a 10-8 overall record.
Anderson controlled much of the first half, getting off nine shots and scoring in the 35th minute of action. Senior Colin Burris was able to get a head on a long pass into the box with junior Alexander Cox-Ashwood drilling the touch past the keeper.
Coker came out of halftime more aggressive making for a great second half of action.
The Cobras had a great opportunity within the 53rd minute when Jacques Fokam-Sandeu shot at an open net. Trojan defender Conor Kilgallon made a sliding save just before the ball could cross into the goal.
Anderson scored its second goal of the match in the 62nd minute of play when senior Jhon Vaca gathered the ball in front of the goal and kicked it past a group of defenders into the near post.
The Cobras continued to apply pressure, finally sneaking one past AU's Gal Elyashiv to trim the lead to 2-1. Christian Provenzano chipped in his 14th goal of the season from close range. Provenzano had another great look just six minutes later with his strong shot hitting off of the far post.
Elyashiv made four outstanding saves in the final 13 minutes of action to preserve the victory.
Coker narrowly outshot the Black and Gold 21(9) – 19(10) while winning the corner kick advantage, 7-3.
BETWEEN THE POSTS
Anderson's Elyashiv was credited with seven saves for the match, while Coker's Guilermo Falo Ejea recorded seven stops.
"We knew going into this game it was going to be tough, said head coach Michael Zion. "Coker is a good team that are clinical going forward. The team executed the game plan and we had a number of players perform exceptionally well.
"I'm excited for this team and what they have been able to accomplish this season, added Zion. "Playing in back to back conference tournament finals is special."
Anderson will face the winner of No. 2 Queens or No. 3 Wingate in the SAC Championship finals. Kick-off is slated for 1 p.m. on Sunday at the Sportsplex in Matthews, N.C.