Pioneers rally to beat Queens 3-2 in NCAA first-round match

Pioneers rally to beat Queens 3-2 in NCAA first-round match

YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. --- Georgios Charkoutsakis scored the go-ahead goal with 6:10 left in the second half as Tusculum University rallied for a 3-2 win over Queens University of Charlotte in an NCAA Division II Men's Soccer Tournament first-round game Friday night.

The fourth-seeded Pioneers (13-6-1) won their seventh straight match and will play the top-seeded and number-one ranked host Young Harris (16-0-1) in a second-round game on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Royals, who were seeded fifth in the Southeast Region, finish their season with a record of 10-6-1.

Charkoutsakis put home a corner kick from Fabian Proesch to give the Pioneers their first NCAA Tournament win since 2008 after the Royals had taken a 2-1 lead with 21 minutes remaining on a penalty-kick goal by Liam Doyle. Henrique Devens scored twice for Tusculum, including the game-tying goal with 19:35 left less than two minutes after Queens had gone ahead.

Tusculum needed just over two minutes to score the first goal of the night on the first shot attempt. Dario Ljubic connected with Devens at the top right corner of the box, and he went low past keeper Sebastian Kalk for his seventh goal of the season and a quick 1-0 Pioneer lead.

Queens came right back to tie the game at 7:44 as Adam Ward took a cross from the left by Edmundo Robinson and blasted his fifth goal of the season by Tusculum keeper Alejandro Quiriti to knot the score at 1-1.

The Royals had a slim 4-3 edge in shots in the first half, and a 3-1 advantage in shots on goal. Quiriti made a pair of saves in the first half, stopping Doyle in the 20th minute and again in the 25th minute.

Neither team was able to find the target for the first 20 minutes of the second half. Shots by the Royals' Adam Ward went high in the 57th minute and Doyle went wide in the 59th minute. Tusculum went without a shot attempt in the second half until Ayuk Tambe went high of the frame in the 61st minute.

With exactly 21 minutes left, a foul was called in the box against the Pioneers and Doyle stepped up to beat Tusculum keeper Sam Gilbert for his fifth goal of the season and a 2-1 Queens lead. However, the lead would last less than 90 seconds as Devens scored his second of the night at 70:25 as he volleyed home a cross from Shawn Foster into the top right corner.

Queens looked for the lead with just under 10 minutes remaining, but Gilbert was equal on a shot attempt by the Royals' Alberto Morales. Tusculum then earned a corner kick with just under seven minutes to play, and Charkoutsakis put home the go-ahead tally from the far post for a 3-2 Pioneer lead.

Trailing by a goal, the Royals looked to ramp up the pressure in the final minutes but their final shot attempt went high by Michael Hornsby with just under four minutes left. Tusculum was able to kill off the clock, with shots on goal by Devens with under three minutes left and by Ljubic in the final 60 seconds.

Gilbert had one save in the second half in goal for Tusculum after Quiriti had two saves in the first half, while Kalk finished with two saves for Queens.

Queens finished with an 11-9 edge in shots over Tusculum and a 3-2 edge in corner kicks. The Royals were called for 16 fouls to 15 for the Pioneers, and Tusculum was flagged for offsides six times to once for Queens.

Tusculum and Young Harris met in Greeneville on September 5, with the Mountain Lions beating the Pioneers by a score of 4-0.