ATHENS, Tenn. — The St. Andrews University men’s soccer team jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a 3-0 win over Tennessee Wesleyan College Sunday to advance to the semifinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament.
The fifth-seeded Knights scored the road win over the fourth-seeded Bulldogs thanks to a goal by sophomore midfielder Manu Escalera in the ninth minute. Freshman Julio Rico assisted Escalera on the go-ahead score. Escalera’s goal was his ninth of the season and he leads the team in that category.
Junior midfielder Filipe Checco added a goal off a corner kicker in the 25th minute to increase the Knights’ lead to 2-0. St. Andrews held Tennessee Wesleyan scoreless for the duration of the contest, and tacked on one more goal in the 82nd minute when Checco found the back of the net.
St. Andrews senior goalkeeper Leandro Custodio recorded seven saves for his third shutout of the season.
The Knights improved to 9-7-1 overall while the Bulldogs dropped to 8-9-1.
St. Andrews moves on to the conference semifinals where it will battle No. 1 Bryan in Tennessee Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Elsewhere in the quarterfinals, No. 6 Truett-McConnell upset No. 3 Reinhardt and will play N0. 2 Union in the other semifinal matchup.
SAU women advance on PKs
WEST POINT, Ga. — St. Andrews and Point needed more than regulation to determine which program would advance to the semifinals of the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament.
Overtime wasn’t enough, either.
So it came down to penalty kicks, where the Knights edged the Skyhawks 5-3 Saturday to move on from the quarterfinal round.
Anna Werneth, Gianna Annichiarico, Miranda Kearney, Olivia Thoroughman and Laura Deihl all converted penalty kicks to help the Knights score the upset.
Annichiarico also made big contributions as a goalkeeper, recording 11 saves.
St. Andrews, the No. 6 seed in the conference, defeated the third-seeded Skyhawks and will now face No. 7 Truett-McConnell Wednesday in Georgia. Kickoff time has not yet been scheduled.
Women’s hoops wins home opener
LAURINBURG — Yvette Sparks picked up her first career win as head coach of the St. Andrews women’s basketball team Saturday, as her Knights routed Mid-Atlantic Christian University 89-36.
It was the home opener for St. Andrews, which improved to 1-1 this year with the victory.
Three Knights scored double-digit points, and they were led by Kelsey Houser’s 18. Houser also dished out three assists and one rebound in the win. Kayla Johnson tacked on 10 points, five rebounds and four steals, and Alana Artis also had 10 points and five rebounds.
St. Andrews forced the visitors to commit 34 turnovers and held Mid-Atlantic Christian to 31 percent shooting from the floor.
The Mustangs had two players reach double-digit points — Brittany Harrison paced the team with 14, and Kamiah Gilbert contributed 13.
St. Andrews will be in action again today when it hosts Columbia International at 5:30 p.m.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.