Lexington, Va. - The N.C. Wesleyan men's soccer team saw its 2017 season come to an end on Saturday with a 5-2 opening round loss to Oglethorpe University in the NCAA Tournament. The defeat ended Wesleyan's 14-match winning streak and left the Bishops with a 15-6 overall record on the season.
Playing at Washington & Lee University, the 24th-ranked Petrels raced out to a 2-0 lead at the half and made it 3-0 early in the second with a penalty kick goal in the 49th minute. Wesleyan, however, did not go down without a fight as sophomore Baboucarr Njie tallied scores in the 55th and 63rd minutes to pull the Bishops to within one, 3-2, with just over 27 minutes remaining. Ryan Halliday was credited with an assist on Njie's first goal, while the second came on a PK.
Unfortunately, a red card in the 70th minute would leave NCWC down a man for the remainder of the match, and Oglethorpe was able to capitalize with a pair of insurance goals down the stretch. OU out-shot NCWC 18-16 on the day and held a slim 5-3 edge in corners. Petrel keeper Luke Whelan made six saves to earn the victory in net, while Bishop freshman Jordan Williams made a handful stops to keep his team in contention.
While the season did not end the way they would have liked, the Bishops will now look to build on a relatively young roster that captured both the 2017 USA South Regular Season and Tournament titles, as well as the program's first NCAA berth since 2008.