Cotton’s Overtime Game-Winner Vaults Greensboro College to USA South Men’s Soccer East Division Finals

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C.—Jovon Cotton’s (Asheboro, N.C./Asheboro) overtime goal 4:35 into the extra period vaulted fourth-seeded Greensboro College to the USA South Athletic Conference (USA South) East Division Finals over top-seeded North Carolina Wesleyan College, 3-2.

The win avenges an overtime loss the Pride suffered to N.C. Wesleyan Tuesday as both sides continued a suspended contest from Sunday to determine seeding for the first-round matchups in the conference.

Greensboro withstood an N.C. Wesleyan attack in the first 20 minutes as the Battling Bishops posted six shots. Greensboro goalkeeper Elmer Martinez made two saves in a minute during the ninth minute of the match as Greensboro held off N.C. Wesleyan.

The Pride reaped the benefits of the hard work defensively as Greensboro rushed the field into their own 18-yard box. Shelly Scott slipped a pass through the Battling Bishops defense to the right side of the box for Jordy Briceno who booted the ball from 12-yards out to give the Pride the early advantage in the 23rd minute. The contest settled for much of the remainder of the half, but the Pride earned a close offensive chance as Alexander Bishop’s shot in the 42nd minute hit the post.

N.C. Wesleyan came out of halftime with the possession advantage for the first 12 minutes and then drew a penalty kick inside the 18-yard box. Lorenzo Cocchia converted the penalty-kick goal in the 58th minute to even the match. N.C. Wesleyan continued their attack over the next 18 minutes with five more shots, but the Pride held their ground.

Greensboro drew a corner kick in the 79th minute that, while not successful, put the ball in their offensive side of the field. Greensboro was able to get a quick possession change off the ensuing goal kick as Pedro Perez-Rodriguez booted the ball into the net as the Pride reclaimed the lead.

N.C. Wesleyan continued their pursuit of the game’s advantage and eventually broke through in the 87th minute as Juan Simoniello fed Agustin Rodriguez to even the score.

4:35 into the overtime period, Cotton scored his second overtime game-winning goal of the season as the Pride avenged their overtime loss from four days ago and advanced to the USA South East Division Finals.

N.C. Wesleyan held a 26-6 advantage in shots with a 14-4 edge in shots on goal. The Battling Bishops also held a 7-3 advantage in corner kicks.

Martinez (5-3) took the win for the Pride in net, making a career-high 12 saves. Matteo Torchio (5-2) took the loss for N.C. Wesleyan, stopping one shot.

The Pride advance to face second-seeded William Peace University in the USA South East Division Finals. The contest will be played either Saturday, April 10, or Sunday, April 11 at William Peace with a game-time to be determined later.

### WE ARE 1 PRIDE ###

Courtesy of Bryan Jones, Greensboro College Sports Information Director