WALESKA, Ga. — There will be no return trip to the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament finals for the St. Andrews University men’s and women’s soccer teams.
After both teams advanced to their respective title games last year, the Knights were bounced one round short of a repeat performance.
The St. Andrews women’s team saw its season come to a close first on Wednesday. The sixth-seeded Knights, who upset No. 3 Point in the quarterfinal round, were eliminated by No. 7 Truett-McConnell in the semifinals. The Bears bested the Knights 3-0 to advance to the championship round, where they will face Reinhardt for the AAC title Friday. The Eagles cruised by Union 3-1 in the other semifinal matchup.
Truett-McConnell improved to 12-8-1 overall with the victory while St. Andrews ends its year with a 10-8-3 mark.
Quiara Gebauer helped the Bears get on the board early, knocking in a header 82 seconds into the matchup to put Truett-McConnell on top.
The score remained the same until halftime, then the Bears doubled their lead with a goal in the 49th minute when Meredith Mellard found the back of the net off of a cross pass. Truett-McConnell added one more insurance goal in the 71st minute when Gebauer scored once more to give the Bears a commanding 3-0 advantage.
Junior Anna Werneth paced the Knights with two shots on goal.
It is the first time in program history that Truett-McConnell has ever played for an AAC tourney title.
Bears goalkeeper Sarah Christmas made three saves in the win. St. Andrews’ Gianna Annichiarico, who won conference Defender of the Week after her performances in the first two rounds of the tournament, made two saves on five shots in defeat.
St. Andrews men shutout by Bryan
ATHENS, Tenn. — Paced by three assists from Kevin Roenpage and two goals by Charlie Clarke, top-seeded Bryan College cruised to a 4-0 victory over the St. Andrews men’s soccer team Wednesday in the semifinal round of the AAC tournament.
The No. 5 Knights, who brought home the conference crown last year and qualified for NAIA Nationals, faced an early deficit against the Lions and never threatened in the second half. Bryan opened the scoring when Clarke scored off an assist from Miles Christian in the 8th minute, then Jason Ward added another goal in the 9th minute to give the Lions a 2-0 lead.
St. Andrews, which upset No. 4 Tennessee Wesleyan 3-0 in the quarterfinal round, were held scoreless by a Bryan squad that improved to 13-4-2 overall. The Knights finished the year 9-8-1.
In the second half, the Lions tacked on two more goals when Clarke scored again off a Roenpage assist in the 50th minute and Rafael Mentzingen put one home thanks to Roenpage in the 68 minute.
The Knights attempted two shots on goal for the match — sophomore Manu Escalera and junior Felipe Checco each fired one.
Bryan will face No. 2 Union for the AAC championship after the Bulldogs beat No. 6 Truett-McConnell 2-0 in the other semifinal tilt.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.