The Bryan College men's soccer team entered the AAC Tournament as the No. 1 seed, earning the right to host, and came out as the tournament champions. The Lions battled hard to come out on top of the Cobras of Virginia Intermont 2-1. Rasheed Malcolm was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. Daniel Branley, Jorge Gonzalez Giron, and Gustavo Angel Tamayo were selected to the All-Tournament Team.
All three goals of the game were scored within a six minute period of time. The Lions struck first in the 47th minute. There was a scramble in the box after a corner kick. The ball ended up at the feet of Rasheed Malcolm, who blasted the ball past the keeper. The Cobras tied the game in the 52nd minute. Alan da Costa scored the game winner for the Lions in the 53rd minute. Josh Smotherman played a ball past the back line of defense. Da Costa beat everyone to the ball, took a dribble around the keeper, and placed the ball into the net.
"First off, it is important to give a tremendous amount of credit to Coach Ssejjemba and his players. He had them prepared well and they had a terrific run in the tournament. I felt like they played with champion's hearts tonight and certainly earned every bit of our respect with their efforts," remarked Bryan Head Coach Joey Johnson.
Johnson went on to say, "It has been quite a journey this year with these guys. I have not coached a team that has had to rise above as much adversity as this group has this season. Their humility, consistent effort, and unity cannot be questioned and the character they have shown throughout has been inspiring. Every player on this team has played a vital role in the journey this season and I am grateful to each one for buying in to who we are without reservation. All credit for any success we have had belongs to the players, and I am happy for them. They will carry the memories of this season for a lifetime. The best part is we get to continue making some more memories together as we compete in the NAIA National Tournament."
The Lions will play again on Saturday, November 23. The 32-team NAIA National Championship Opening Round pairings will be announced on Monday at 2:00pm ET.