WINTER PARK, Fla. – Carson-Newman (15-4-1) eliminated Rollins (17-3) with a 2-1 victory on Tars' home turf Sunday afternoon to move on to a program-first Final Four.
"I am at a loss for words, honestly," Carson-Newman head soccer coach Richard Moodie said. "That is the most emotional I've ever been at the side of a soccer field. What an effort, what a show; I couldn't be any prouder."
The Eagles took an early lead when junior Ross Frame (Welshpool, Powys, United Kingdom) opened the scoring in the tenth minute of action. Frame caught Rollins' keeper out of position and launched the ball in over the Tars' defense.
Frame is now tied for seventh in the nation with 18 goals. He is tied for ninth in the nation with 10 assists. Frame's 18 goals are fifth most in a single season in Carson-Newman history. Ryan Williams holds the record with 23 from the 1995 campaign.
"It's fair to say these boys deserve every minute of it," Moodie said. "We came here on August 13th and rolled up our sleeves; they've worked hard and put in the time and now it's paying off."
Nick Skoda (Knoxville, Tenn.) scored what would be the winning goal in the 70th minute. The Tars' had a poor clearance on which Skoda capitalized; he lofted the ball right under the crossbar leaving the goalie no chance at a save.
"We've had some important goals," Moodie said, "and some luck along the way. Overall, we've done what we were meant to do and God had taken care of us."
Two minutes later, Rollins put in its lone goal. The ball came across the Eagles' box in the air; Grant Blackhurst got on the end of it and flicked it with his head into the upper 90.
The Tars outshot the Eagles 19 to eight. Senior captain Rumwald Le Guevel (Vannes, France) is credited seven saves on the match.
Le Guevel has 89 saves on the season. On Friday, he came up with two huge saves in the Eagles' penalty kick shootout against Lander to advance his team to the Elite Eight.
"We would like to give a big thank you to President O'Brien, our families, and all of our supporters," Moodie said, "who spent their time, money and effort to make their ways down to Orlando to support us."
Blackhurst and Tosan Popo each took three shots and landed two on goal for the Tars.
Frame led C-N in shots taking three, two of which were on target. Skoda released two shots, both on net.
Nationally, the Eagles are 26th with 2.3 goals per game. They moved from 16th to 12th in the nation with 136 overall points.
"We are ecstatic," Moodie said, "and proud to be taking the program for the first time to the Final Four down in Georgia."
Carson-Newman will play Simon Fraser Dec. 5 in the Final Four in Evans, Ga. The time of the match is to be announced.