GREENSBORO, N.C. – The fourth-seeded Mercer Bears won their third SoCon Men’s Soccer Championship since 2016 with a 1-0 win over No. 2 seed UNC Greensboro on Sunday night at the UNCG Soccer Stadium.
The Spartans came out firing in the first half, outshooting Mercer 11-5, but neither side managed to open the scoring before the half. UNCG’s Micah Albert and Bryan Huerta had a pair of opportunities on goal but Mercer goalkeeper JR DeRose saved both attempts, including a diving save to his left on Albert’s strike late in the half that seemed destined for the back on the net.
The second half continued the back-and-forth play from the first half, with neither team able to break through with the opening goal before Mercer’s Trevor Martineau clinically slotted a shot by UNCG goalkeeper Brendan Pulley to put the Bears in front in the 62nd minute. The forward was gifted a golden opportunity after intercepting a pass in the attacking half and finished off his 14th goal of the season and what proved to be his fifth game-winner this year. UNCG rallied late but the Mercer defense and DeRose held the Spartans once again to maintain the clean sheet and the championship.
Martineau and Dawson Gideon led Mercer with three shots each while UNCG was led by Cameron Fowler and Albert with five and four shots, respectively. In goal, DeRose made a total of four saves to earn the shutout win.
The Spartans outshot Mercer 24-11 overall on the night with four shots on goal. Mercer put just one shot on goal, which was Martineau’s game-winner.
The Bears will find out where they play next during the NCAA Selection Show, which airs on NCAA.com on Monday at 1 p.m. ET.
SoCon Men’s Soccer Championship All-Tournament Team
Kyle Barks, Belmont
Niccolo Dagnoni, Belmont
Arnor Adalsteinsson, Furman
Max Fisher, Furman
Micah Albert, UNCG
Albert Pedra, UNCG
Casey Penland, UNCG
Roberto Arteaga, Mercer
JR DeRose, Mercer
Trevor Martineau, Mercer
Leo Toledo Jr., Mercer
Most Outstanding Player
JR DeRose, Mercer
Pinnacle Award (highest cumulative GPA among championship-eligible student-athletes on winning team)
George Iakovidis, Mercer
2019 SoCon Men’s Soccer Championship
First Round, Tuesday, Nov. 5
Match 1: No. 6 Belmont 4, No. 7 VMI 0
Quarterfinals, Friday, Nov. 8
Match 2: No. 6 Belmont 2, No. 3 ETSU 0
Match 3: No. 4 Mercer 3, No. 5 Wofford 0
Semifinals, Sunday, Nov. 10
Match 4: No. 4 Mercer 3, No. 1 Furman 2 (2OT)
Match 5: No. 2 UNCG 3, No. 6 Belmont 2 (OT)
Finals, Sunday, Nov. 17 (UNCG Soccer Stadium; Greensboro, N.C.)
Match 6: No. 4 Mercer 1, No 2 UNCG 0
(all times Eastern)