Welch Leads Men’s Soccer to RSC Semifinals

WILMORE, Kentucky – When it comes to playoff time, the results are the most important part. The Asbury men’s soccer team got the result they needed, putting six past the Brescia University Bearcats to win 6-2 in their final home game of the year. Freshman Noah Welch seized the spotlight, netting five and raising his total to 16 goals on the season.

He wasted little time getting started. The first came from an assist from Ryan Metcalf, with the second coming soon after on a deflection off of a Brescia defender.

The Eagles continued to push forward after that, out-possessing, out-shooting, and out-working the Bearcats for most of the half. Look no further than Matt Young‘s run to end the half. The junior took the ball straight up the heart of the midfield before laying it off to Sam Henderson on the edge of the box. Henderson hit a strong shot to the bottom corner to make it 3-0.

Goalkeeper Brandon Patterson made sure that the Eagles didn’t concede before halftime, leaping to deny a header at the back post after a Brescia corner. The Bearcats got back into the game briefly after a mistake at the back in the 57th minute allowed them to score. But once Welch got going for the Eagles, the game was put well out of reach.

Speed was key to the first of his three goals in the half. A big clearance out of the back from the Eagles found Welch isolated at midfield with only one defender. After the ball went over both heads, a good bounce off of the forward’s back put the ball in space in front of him. From there, he won the footrace, poking the ball home past the onrushing keeper.

Not even two minutes later, Welch was through on goal again. This time a ball from Henderson split open the Brescia backline, leaving the goalkeeper one-on-one. He had no chance, as the shot from Welch was put away easy.

Welch was relentless. On the ball again less than two minutes later, the Bearcats backline was at a loss on how to stop him. His final goal of the evening, the pick of the bunch, was a solo effort; after picking the ball up on the left wing, a quick cut inside was finished with a shot from 18 yards that curled into the far corner.

Even though Brescia would score late in the half off a well-placed free kick, it was only consolation.

“All and all, we can improve on that performance,” said head coach Ben Andrews after the game. “We’re ready for Wednesday, we want another chance at Rio [Grande].”

It will be a massive game for the Eagles, University of Rio Grande, the defending national champions, are currently ranked 3rd in the NAIA and defeated the Eagles 5-1 in their previous meeting back on Oct. 29. That game will take place on Nov. 9 in Ohio. Coverage for the game will be on AsburyEagles.com and RiverStatesConference.com.

 

Article originally published on AsburyEagles.com

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FiveThirtyEight

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about politics, sports, science, economics and culture.

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