Thomas University used two goals each from Jarrod Ingram and Rowan Liburd to take home the school’s first The Sun Conference title in any sport Saturday night in Daytona Beach, Fla. The 6-3 win against SCAD assures the Night Hawks a spot in the NAIA National Tournament, where they will travel to Alabama for the first round Saturday where they will face No. 7 Auburn University at Montgomery at 2 p.m.
SCAD opened the scoring in the 14th minute, beating TU keeper Andreas Hoffer, but TU (15-3-2) responded less than five minutes later when Stacey Freeman headed one in off a free kick to tie the game at 1. In the 23rd minute, the Night Hawks took the lead on a Steven Conway goal. Ingram added his first goal of the day to give the Night Hawks the 3-1 lead going to the half.
SCAD scored again in the 69th minute, to draw within one at 3-2, but that would be as close as it would get. Ingram answered with his second goal of the game to stretch the lead to 4-2.
Liburd then showed why he was selected as the Sun Player of the Year, knocking in goals in the 79th and 83rd minute to seal the win. SCAD scored in the 86th minute, but it made little difference as TU celebrated its first championship in men's soccer a few minutes later.
The Night Hawks outshot the Bees 14-8, putting nine shots on frame to SCAD's seven. Hoffer finished the day with four saves in goal.
TU advances to the NAIA National Tournament for the first time in program history, and it will open against a familiar opponent in the Southern States Athletic Conference regular season champion. AUM (13-6) dropped a 1-0 decision to TU on Aug. 24 in Lawrenceville. Eric Perrson notched the only goal.