MHC
Bivens

MARS HILL, N.C. -- Mars Hill won its first NCAA tournament game in school history, defeating Montevallo in the opening round of the NCAA tournament on Wednesday. The Lions improved to 12-5-1 on the year while the Falcons end their season at 12-5-4.

"It was a great performance by our guys," Mars Hill head coach Ian Clerihew said. "Every player did a great job. It was a great, first, postseason win for Mars Hill in the history of the program against a very good Montevallo team and to get the shutout at home as well was awesome. We are excited and looking forward to moving on to the next round.

Stephen Bivens scored two goals in the win and Alex Mullen added two assists in the contest. The Lions advance to face Coker in the next round on Friday. The Cobras are the No. 1 seed in the Southeast Regional.

Bivens gave the Lions a 1-0 advantage at the 18:15 mark when he scored from eight yards out on a cross from Mullen. Bivens added another first-half goal at the 31:13 mark when he scored off a rebound sent in again by Mullens. Mars Hill outshot Montevallo, 11-6 in the opening frame. Six of the Lions' shots were on goal. The Falcons edged the Lions in corner kicks in the first half 4-1.

Brandon Tardioli recorded an insurance goal at the 87:38 mark to make the final tally 3-0 in favor of the Lions. Tardioli found the back of the net from nine yards out on a pass from Giovanni Malnati.

MHC outshot the Falcons 18-16. Montevallo had eight more corner kicks (9-1) than the Lions. Zac Scott played all 90 minutes in goal for Mars Hill and made eight saves. The Lions recorded their ninth shutout of the season which ties the existing school record. Brendan Ledgeway played the entire match in the net for the Falcons and made five saves.

"It was a great game between two very good teams," Montevallo head coach Ken Hassler said. "Mars Hill played extremely well and got a couple of early goals. We did not track men through the middle (early). The game itself was a display of very good soccer. Both teams got a lot of attacking chances. The difference tonight was Mars Hill put their shots in and we didn't. I am very proud of my guys and the way they played and it was an exciting match tonight"