Lancers fall in soccer title game

Published 12:06 am Monday, November 14, 2016

The Cinderella run of Longwood University’s men’s soccer team came to an end Sunday afternoon in the Big South Conference Championship game as the No. 5-seeded Lancers held their own but lost 1-0 to the top-seeded Radford University Highlanders in Radford.

Big South Preseason Attacking Player of the Year Sivert Daehlie scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute, heading a ball sent to the left side of the 6-yard box past Longwood senior goalkeeper Carlos Canas.

The goal helped Radford (14-3-2) win its first Big South Championship in men’s soccer since the 2000 season and its fourth overall.

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With one last gasp in the closing seconds and the Lancers pressing for the equalizer, junior Marten Pajunurm nearly tied the game with a header off the corner kick, but it sailed just wide of Radford goalkeeper Ait Pouseu Blanco.

The Lancers (8-12-1) became the third Longwood program to compete in a Big South Championship game, joining the three-time Big South champion softball team and the women’s basketball team.

Making the tournament as the sixth seed on a Dan Campos golden goal in overtime of the regular season finale against Liberty University, Longwood upset third-seeded UNC Asheville and second-seeded High Point University on the road to become the fifth No. 6 seed to advance to the Big South Championship game in the league’s history.

The Lancers’ trip to the finals put an end to a successful fall sports season for Longwood, as men’s soccer, women’s soccer and field hockey all advanced to the semifinals of their conference tournaments to mark the first time that has happened in the school’s 10-year Division I era.

For their efforts, Canas, Campos, a junior, and senior Finnlay Wyatt were named to the Big South All-Tournament team.