Montreat College
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Columbia International University
Men's Soccer - Mon, Oct. 9, 2017

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Freshman Afonso Vieira (FR/Portugal) proved why he's one of the top scoring threats in the AAC as he tallied three goals in the Montreat Cavaliers' 3-1 victory over the visiting Columbia International University (CIU) Rams on Saturday night.

Vieira's first goal came from seven yards out off a feed from Jeovanni Ordaz (JR/Veracruz, Mexico). Vieira buried his shot to the right of the Rams' keeper in the 10th minute of play in the game. That score proved the only one of the first half.

At the half, the men's squad recognized their graduating seniors, who included Ryan Buick (SR/Oxford, England), George Stanley (SR/West Yorkshire, England), Adrian Ionescu (SR/Queensland, Australia), and goalkeeper Miguel Tudon (SR/Vila-Real, Spain). All four are major contributors for the Cavs (7-3) this season and were enthusiastically celebrated by the large crowd on hand for a combined Homecoming/Senior Day.   

Early in the second, the Rams' Victor Maron scored on a quick strike at 53:16. A 30-minute scoring drought then ensued from both teams.

"I think the main thing was having Afonso on the field. His composure in front of the net is one of his strongest attributes," said head coach Michael Bruce after the contest. "I think having him in his position really helped us. When we got ahead we took him out and some of our composure in front of goal disappeared." 

It was Montreat who struck next after a perfectly placed pass up the left sideline found Henrique Cardoso (JR/Lisbon, Portugal) (JR/Lisbon, Portugal). Cardoso deftly settled the ball then threaded a pass to Vieira whose defender momentarily left to pressure the ball. The freshman tucked his shot under the crossbar to put the Cavs ahead, 2-1, with just over five minutes remaining in the contest. 

"We went through a little bit where we couldn't get out, but once we found our feet again, we did well," said Bruce.

From there, Montreat scored an insurance goal with under two minutes to play. Vieira chased down a loose ball that rolled past the Rams' defenders, compelling their goalkeeper Dominik Schleinitz to come well out from goal to make a play on the ball. The Montreat freshman then beat the keeper to the loose ball, and with a diving lunge sent the ball into the vacated Rams' goal. 

"Collectively, I think we did a really good job tonight in moving the ball and finding opportunities. We were able to possess the ball and be patient with it. Because of it we found some beautiful chances to score. Afonso did a really good job tonight putting three balls away," said assistant coach Joao Ehlers in summing up the night's exceptional work by the Cavaliers.

Next up: The Cavaliers play at 7 p.m. this evening against the Southeastern University (Fla.) Fire in Lakeland, Florida

Pictured: Afonso Vieira (L) pressured the CIU goal throughout the evening. 

Photo credit: Montreat Athletics 

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