GAFFNEY, S.C. – Carson-Newman (13-5) toppled Anderson (13-6-3) 3-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Thursday afternoon. The Eagles advance to play No. 1 seed Limestone Saturday at 1 p.m.
"We are very happy to be in the national tournament and represent Carson-Newman," Carson-Newman head soccer coach Richard Moodie said. "The last time we were in it was 2009; it's good to be back."
The Eagles fell to Anderson in the second round of their last NCAA tournament appearance in 2009. C-N last made the third round in 2005 when the Eagles advanced all the way to the Elite Eight.
Anderson opened the scoring in the 29th minute when Aaron Robinson led a pass in for Andre Carle who chipped a ball over the keeper to the back post.
Less than twenty seconds later, Nick Skoda (Knoxville, Tenn.) answered by blasting in a right-footed shot directly between the sticks. Ross Frame (Welshpool, Powys, United Kingdom) claimed the assist.
"I thought we were the better team," Moodie said. "We created lots of chances."
Four minutes into the second half, Frame put in a goal of his own, his 16th of the season, to take the lead. Sindre Welo (Trondheim, Norway) flicked the ball across the box where Frame redirected the ball past the keeper.
Nico Noll (Esens, Niedersachsen, Germany) gave the Eagles a two goal cushion ten minutes later. Matheus Bachi (Caxias do Sul, Brazil) flicked on a free kick; Noll met the ball and one-timed it past the keeper for his sixth goal of the year.
Anderson received a free kick from 15 yards out in the 85th minute. Bernd Muxel tapped the ball to make it live; Martin Brain struck the ball through the Eagles' wall. C-N keeper Nick Martin (Russellville, Tenn.) was able to react quickly and get a hand on the ball, but it still found its way into the side netting for Trojan goal no. 2.
"Nick Martin had an absolute blinder of a game," Moodie said. "He made some great saves."
Martin made three huge saves over the course of the match. The Eagles as a team was credited for two saves.
"We have to do a bit better," Moodie said, "capitalizing on set plays."
Carson-Newman outshot Anderson 16 to 12. Kristian Speake (Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, United Kingdom) led the Eagles in shots having taken four, three of which were on frame.
Carle also released four shots and landed three on net for the Trojans.
"We are excited to play someone new in Limestone," Moodie said, "and hopefully move on to the Sweet 16."
The Eagles have advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will play Limestone, Conference Carolinas regular season and conference tournament champion, Saturday at 1 p.m. in Gaffney, S.C.