CLINTON, S.C. — Gideon Betz scored the game’s only goal in the 99th minute to lift Campbell to the Big South Conference men’s soccer tournament title Sunday in a 1-0 decision over defending champion Presbyterian.
For the second-straight game, the Camels played to a scoreless draw in regulation against a higher seeded team. On Wednesday, the fourth seeded visitors advanced in penalties at top-seeded High Point.
On Sunday, CU defeated the defending league tournament champion Blue Hose on their home field to earn the Big South’s automatic bid to the NCAA College Cup.
The winner was set up when Michael Barrow sent a high ball into the Presbyterian area that Alemu Mercer-Miko chested down to Betz, who met it with a right-footed strike after an overlapping run from the right back.
The goal was the third of the year for Betz, a two-time first-team all-conference performer, and sent Campbell to its first NCAA berth since 2007.
Camel keeper Samuel Lechuga did not allow a goal in 299 Big South tournament minutes and made four saves Sunday.
Jan Hoffelner of PC only allowed one goal, Betz’ golden strike. in three tournament starts.
Presbyterian finished with a 12-10 edge in shots, including Sergio Pinto’s effort less than three minutes into overtime that rolled just wide of the left post.
Campbell nearly scored in the 56th minute on Thibaut Jacquel’s header that beat the keeper, but not the left post.
Presbyterian’s best chance of the opening period came in the 27th minute when Jordan Barbara’s 22-yard free kick was headed for the left corner, but Lechuga dove to his right to push the ball around his post.
Campbell was playing in its first Big South final since rejoining the league in 2011 and its first conference title game appearance since the 2008 A-Sun Championship. The Camels last claimed a conference title and NCAA berth when they won the 2007 A-Sun crown.
Betz was named the Big South tournament Most Valuable Player. Betz also was named to the All-Tournament team alongside teammates Michael Barrow, Ian Rees and George Bediko.
The Camels will learn their NCAA College Cup destination on today (Monday, Nov. 12) at 1 p.m. when the tournament bracket is revealed on NCAA.com.
(Campbell media services provided the basis for this report)