Maryville College advanced on Saturday night to the USA South Athletic Conference Semifinals, as the Scots defeated Piedmont College, 4-0.
The Scots' Aaron Rucker tallied a pair of goals on the evening – his second and third of the season – to push Maryville further into the tournament.
MC will not travel for the remainder of the conference slate to Covenant College. The Scots will face Eastern Division top-ranked N.C. Wesleyan College on Friday, Nov. 8.
Maryville College jumped out to an early lead in the 12th minute of play. Trevor McDonald directed a header toward to goal, as senior Rucker collected it. Rucker blasted a left-footed shot over the keeper into the right side of the net for a 1-0 lead at the 11:16 mark of the first half.
In the 27th minute, Maryville made it a 2-0 score. Piedmont was credited with a foul and a yellow card in the box, allowing the Scots a penalty kick. Johnny Rakhmonberdiev did not disappoint, as he blasted it to the lower left side with Piedmont keeper Cameron Verona diving right.
The Scots had another chance just four minutes later with another Piedmont penalty in the box. Austin Vineyard's try clanked off the crossbar – his second-such shot of the first half – as the score remained 2-nil at the break.
Maryville posted 15 shots in the first half to just four by the Lions. MC had 10 shots on frame, as Piedmont claimed a pair on goal.
Vineyard would make amends in the second half, scoring the Scots' third goal in the 59th minute. He took a long throw in from Chris Fernandez, as he headed it into the upper middle of the net. Vineyard's sixth goal of the season gave Maryville a three-goal advantage at the 58:46 mark.
With 13:10 left in the match, Piedmont found their best opportunity of the match. With a physical match ensuing, the Lions drew a foul in the box for a penalty kick opportunity. Jose Linares took the shot, but Maryville's Mykal Manfred stood strong for the save. That kept the score at 3-0.
Just more than two minutes later, Maryville would make it a 4-nil match. Rakhmonberdiev served up a corner kick in front of the net, as Rucker found his second goal of the match. The senior's third goal of the season in the 84th minute made the final, 4-0.
Maryville (11-8) outshot the Hawks 22-10 overall, as MC posted a dozen shots on frame. Rucker added a pair of goals for the Scots with five total shots. Rakhmonberdiev had one goal with two shots on frame, while Vineyard added a goal with five shots on frame.
McDonald, Fernandez and Rakhmonberdiev each added assists on the day.
Manfred earned the shutout in goal, as he advanced to 10-6 on the year. He turned away each of the five shots he faced from the Lions.
Piedmont (7-10-2) was led by Brandon Ramos with three shots, while Cameron Earls and Luke Tekilemariam had two shots each.