The Bears won the SoCon soccer tournament Sunday for the second year in a row and will head to the NCAA tournament for a second straight year as well.
The win over the University of North Carolina at Greensboro marks Mercer’s third SoCon men’s soccer title, one regular season and two tournament titles, since joining the conference in 2014.
Mercer made it to the SoCon tournament final after taking down tournament top seed ETSU in penalties 4-3 after regulation and extra time ended scoreless. The penalties were made by Kobe Perez, Jake Mezei, Conner Antley and Will Bagrou and keeper Jeremy Booth came up with two big saves in the Friday shoot-out.
The final against UNCG ended in a 1-1 tie after regulation and extra time and headed to penalties where the Bears came out on top 3-2. Mercer found the back on the net first in the 13th minute with a goal by Mezei that came off a cross from Perez. Just 12 minutes later Leeroy Maguraushe put his shot into the upper left corner of the net.
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In the penalty shoot-out, Booth saved three shots from the Spartans while Roberto Arteaga and Antley made their penalties before Bagrou converted the championship clinching penalty.
Booth was named the tournament's most outstanding player and was named to the All-Tournament team alongside teammates Antley, Bagrou and Perez.
NCAA tournament selection and seeding is Monday and tournament games start Nov. 16.