EVANS, Ga. (release) -- Carson-Newman (16-6-1) fell to Southern New Hampshire (22-1-1) 2-1 in the NCAA National Championship Saturday afternoon.
“First of all,” Carson-Newman head soccer coach Richard Moodie said, “congratulations to Southern New Hampshire. They played well, they did well, they did what they had to.”
At the end of the first half, the match was scoreless. The Penmen outshot the Eagles nine to three after the first 45. Rumwald Le Guevel (Vannes, France) made two saves in the first; the team was credited one.
Ross Frame (Welshpool, Powys, United Kingdom) led the Eagles in shots with two. Pierre Omanga released two shots for SNHU, both of which were on target.
With 16 minutes remaining, the Penmen took a one goal lead. Miguel Carneiro received a ball from Brian Francolini, dribbled across the top of the box and shot from 16 yards out.
“[SNHU] had some luck along the way,” Moodie said. “They got very lucky with their second goal, without speaking ill of the officials.”
SNHU was awarded a penalty kick in the 86th minute. Omanga placed the penalty in the lower right corner of the net to make it 2-0.
With just over two minutes left on the clock, a brawl broke out on the field that spread into the stands. Two Eagles and one player from SNHU were sent off with red cards.
“I’m proud of these guys,” Moodie said. “From day one, I knew there was something special about them. I looked them in the eyes and told them it was the best Carson-Newman team that I’ve ever seen… and that’s hard for me to say, because I played on one of them.”
With six seconds to go, Frame put a right-footed bullet into the far side netting to make the final score 2-1. Frame totaled 20 goals on the year, three away from the school record, landing him the no. 5 spot in the nation for this season and making him just the fourth player in C-N history with 20 goals or more in a single season.
Frame’s 11 assists on the season tie him for seventh in the nation.
The Penmen outshot C-N 17 to 10 by the end of the match. Le Guevel tallied a total of five saves.
This was SNHU’s first men’s soccer NCAA Division II title since 1989.
The Lads made history this season advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2005, winning for the first time ever, and pushing two matches further to the championship game, a feat accomplished by no previous C-N men’s soccer team.
“I’m proud of my boys for the effort,” Moodie said. “From day one, we were the Cinderella team. We just wanted to play with a little bit of pride, a bit of passion and get a bit of recognition. I think we achieved that today.”