LU reaches first BSC title game

Published 4:24 am Thursday, November 10, 2016

A strike in the first half from senior captain Finnlay Wyatt and a shutout bid from fellow senior captain Carlos Canas lifted the Longwood University men’s soccer team to the program’s first-ever Big South Conference Championship game Wednesday night at Vert Stadium, as the No. 6 Lancers upset second-seeded High Point University 1-0 in the semifinals of the Big South Tournament.

Wyatt’s goal from the top of the box in the 42nd minute and a second half defensive clinic put on by Canas and the Longwood back line helped the Lancers secure their place in Sunday’s Big South Championship game at top-seeded Radford University.

The Highlanders (14-3-1) reached their second final in three years by finishing with a 4-2 penalty kick advantage Wednesday after tying visiting No. 5 Presbyterian College 1-1 following regulation and two overtime sessions.

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The Lancers (8-11-1) became the third Longwood athletics team to reach a Big South title game, joining the three-time conference champion softball squad and the 2013 runner-up women’s basketball squad.

“What a fantastic day to be a Lancer and especially for those close to the soccer program,” said Longwood Head Coach Jon Atkinson.

Wednesday’s performance saw Longwood avenge a 3-0 loss on High Point’s home field just over a month ago to hold the Big South’s highest-scoring team scoreless. That effort included a three-save performance from Canas, as he and the Longwood defense turned away 15 High Point shots.

Wyatt, along with his partner in the midfield, junior Dan Campos, have given the Longwood attack a boost in the squad’s past three games, as the dynamic duo has produced five goals and three assists to push the Lancers within one win of their first berth in the NCAA Tournament.

Sunday’s Big South Championship game starts at 2 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.