Sullivan earns USA South Player of the Week in championship run

Sullivan earns USA South Player of the Week in championship run

Maryville College's Andrew Sullivan earned USA South Player of the Week honors after the junior midfielder led the Scots to their first-ever USA South regular season championship.

The Leesburg, Ga. native tallied three goals on the weekend to lead Maryville in their key wins for the championship. Sullivan scored a pair of goals in a 2-1 win over conference front-runner N.C. Wesleyan College, before putting one in the net during a 2-1 win over Methodist University on Sunday.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound midfielder's performance also helped the Scots to extend they school-record 11-match win streak intact.

"It's one of the best weekends that any player has ever had here, especially with how impactful the goals were," Head Coach Pepe Fernandez said. "I've told a lot of people, that when you look at the conference schedule, these weekends when you travel late in the season – I think everybody looks at it – if you can pick up a point or three points out of the weekend, its good. No matter where somebody is at in the standings, that's what you look at in the schedule. To lead us and pick up six points was pretty amazing."

Against N.C. Wesleyan, who was previously unbeaten in conference play, Sullivan scored both goals of the 2-1 overtime thriller. After MC fell behind just 11:20 into the match, it was until the second half the Scots managed a goal.

Sullivan scored the unassisted goal on a one-timer off a defender just 1:55 into the second half to knot the game at 1-all.

His goal in overtime came in the 99th minute to secure the conference lead. Sullivan found the ball after a scrum in the box, using a one-timer from 12 yards out to earn the win.

Sullivan was forced into the role after MC's Tim Baker – Maryville's season assists record holder – left the match early. From that point on, the Bishops quadruple covered the Scots' Caleb Lucas who ranks third in the Division III nation in goals. Sullivan took control from that point.

"He was kind of thrown into it," Fernandez said. "He's been coming off the bench, and he's scored some big goals off the bench for us. To come in and replace Tim, and do what you specifically ask out of that position – win games for you by putting the ball in the net – it is definitely one of the most memorable performances that I've seen over my 26 years here."

On Sunday, Sullivan picked up his third-straight goal of the weekend. He took an assist from Bret Thomas and put it past the keeper just 12:51 into the match. Methodist would equal the goal in the 51st minute, before Lucas notched an unassisted goal late for the win and the championship.

"It was exciting. The kids were excited, and everybody was happy for him. He's a fantastic player," Fernandez said of Sullivan. "I just think when somebody works that hard and puts everything that they have into it, and they are able to come in and pull something like that off, it was really nice to see how much his teammates supported him."

On the year, Sullivan has seven goals and an assist – three of those coming this weekend. He has 15 points on only 21 shots, while holding a .571 shot-on-goal percentage.

Maryville will now host the first round of the USA South Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 29. Time for that match is to be determined.