Point men’s soccer travels to Missouri in NAIA opening round
Published 2:00 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2021
By Point University Athletics
WEST POINT – For the first time in program history, the Point University men’s soccer team is headed to the NAIA Men’s Soccer National Championship after winning the Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament Friday afternoon.
The Skyhawks (11-5-2) travel to Columbia, Missouri, and enter the opening round as the No. 4 seed in the Columbia bracket. Point will face host and No. 1 seed Columbia on Thursday, Nov. 18, at 2:30 p.m. ET at R. Marvin Owens Field.
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“We are very excited to be able to represent the AAC, Point our program and our families here at the NAIA national tournament,” Head Coach Mark Wozniak said. “We want to enjoy it and are ready to embrace this next challenge. Even though it is our first time here, we are ready to come and play for each other and continue the great season we have had so far.”
The Skyhawks closed the regular season out strong, as they went 7-2 in October, winning the final four games. In the AAC tournament, the Skyhawks entered as the No. 6 seed and opened tournament play by upsetting the No. 3 seed, Reinhardt, 1-0, before hosting the No. 7 seed Montreat and defeating them 1-0 to advance to the AAC tournament championship. The Skyhawks traveled to Athens, Tennessee, and played Tennessee Wesleyan in the championship.
In the championship, the Bulldogs entered the second half leading 2-0, but Point would battle back, scoring two goals in the second half to even the score 2-2 at the end of regulation. After two overtime periods, neither team could connect for the golden goal, and the match ended in a tie and was sent to penalty kicks. The Skyhawks connected with all five of their penalty kicks, while Julio Gomes made a defensive stop against TWU’s second shot to help Point win 5-3 in PKs and advance to the national tournament.
Gomes, Facundo Palacio, Julien Sagnol and Jeronimo Leguizamon were all named to the All-Tournament team, with Leguizamon earning the title of tournament MVP.
Before Point’s match on Friday, the AAC announced the All-Conference teams and Leguizamon was named AAC Player of the Year, Golden Boot recipient and was named to the All-AAC first team. Senior Lorenzo Delvecchio was named to the All-AAC second team.
Leguizamon finished the regular season with 22 goals (19 in AAC play), 100 shots in AAC play, and five game-winning goals. Leguizamon had six multigoal games, two hat tricks and broke the school record for most goals scored in a single game, with five goals scored in Point’s victory over Johnson (Tenn.).
The Cougars checked in at No. 10 in the latest NAIA Men’s Soccer Coaches’ Poll and enter the opening round tournament with a record of 11-2-3.