Men's soccer falls to Emory in NCAA second round

Fredy Flores battles an Emory player for the ball.

Lynchburg, Va. -- The Lynchburg College men's soccer season came to a sudden end Sunday evening on Shellenberger Field, as the Hornets fell, 1-0, to Emory University in second-round NCAA Division III tournament play.

The Eagles' Moustafa Khattab scored an unassisted goal in the 72nd minute to break a scoreless tie, and Emory hung on through several wild minutes to advance to the Sweet 16 next weekend.

Lynchburg controlled the match from the outset. The Hornets had scoring opportunities in the first half, but shots on frame by Ryan Pikunas (Chesterfield, Va.), Nate Berning (Chesapeake, Va.), Bhayle Kearns (Broad Run, Va.), and Clay Van Gieson (Gloucester, Va.) were all saved.

With intensity mounting after a scoreless first half, the Hornets sustained a scoring threat between the 60th and 70th minute but couldn't break through.

And then the Eagles counter-attacked. Lynchburg's defense stopped the breakaway, but Khattab stepped in front of the defender's attempt to clear the ball and shot it from 25 yards out into the far side of the net, sending the Emory bench into a frenzy.

Lynchburg's own frenzied attempts as the clock wound down proved fruitless.

Senior forward Jon Mackey (Leesburg, Va.) put two corner kicks in the box in the 80th minute, both of which were thwarted by the Eagle defense.

On his third corner of the half, Mackey found his younger brother, Ben Mackey (Leesburg, Va.) outside of the box, and the freshman's shot skipped just high. On the fourth, Jon Mackey's bender hit the crossbar and went out.

The clock wound down, eliminating the Hornets from the NCAA tournament on Shellenberger in the second round for the second-straight year.

Sunday marked only the second time in the 2017 season the Hornets failed to score.

The Hornets conclude a successful season with an 18-2-2 record and their second-straight Old Dominion Athletic Conference championship and NCAA tournament appearance. LC has won a tournament match in each of its last three appearances.