ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.—North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Lorenzo Cocchia netted the game-winning goal 1:11 into overtime as Greensboro College dropped a heartbreaking USA South Athletic Conference (USA South) contest to N.C. Wesleyan, 2-1, in a contest that began Sunday but was suspended 12 minutes into the second half.
N.C. Wesleyan held a slight possession advantage in the first 20 minutes of the first half on Sunday as the Battling Bishops posted two shots while holding the Pride to none. Greensboro (5-3, 3-3 USA South) broke through in the 25th minute when Jordy Briceno found Darli Mihindou (Greensboro, N.C./Eastern Guilford) for the game’s first goal and his tenth goal of the season.
Lucas Wittstatt attempted to get N.C. Wesleyan on the board in the 30th minute, but the Pride’s starting goalkeeper Elmer Martinez answered the call and made the save on Wittstatt’s shot. The Pride held the Battling Bishops to just one shot the rest of the half as the Pride went into halftime with the lead. The Pride began to apply pressure on the Battling Bishops in the first 12 minutes when lightning halted the game on Sunday afternoon and later suspended the contest due to unplayable field conditions.
The match resumed this afternoon and the Pride continued to pressure the Battling Bishops, out-shooting N.C. Wesleyan, 3-2, in the first 18 minutes of resumed play and a 3-1 advantage in corner kicks during that time period.
The game, offensively, began to slow down over the next ten minutes with neither side drawing an offensive chance. N.C. Wesleyan made a push in the final minutes of regulation as the Battling Bishops began to get shot opportunities. N.C. Wesleyan rallied in the final minute with an opportunity at net as Juan Simoniello fired a shot with a rebound opportunity that Agustin Rodriguez collected and booted into the net with 40-seconds left to tie the match.
The Battling Bishops drew a penalty kick 1:11 into overtime Cocchia converted to give N.C. Wesleyan the win.
The Battling Bishops held a 19-5 advantage in shots with a 7-3 edge in shots-on-goal. N.C. Wesleyan squeaked out a 5-3 edge in corner kicks.
Martinez (4-3) took the loss for the Pride in net, making five saves.
Matteo Torchio (5-1) took the win for the Battling Bishops, stopping two shots.
The result gives the Pride the four-seed in the USA South East Division Tournament and places N.C. Wesleyan at the top of the division. Both sides will face each other again this Saturday at N.C. Wesleyan in the USA South East Division Semi-finals. Game time is to be determined.
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Courtesy of Bryan Jones, Greensboro College Sports Information Director