ODU men’s soccer defeats Charlotte, claims Conference USA tournament title

ODU men’s soccer team celebrates Conference USA title (Courtesy: @ODUMensSoccer / Twitter)

NORFOLK, Va. – The Old Dominion (12-5-2, 8-2-0 C-USA) men’s soccer team topped Charlotte in the C-USA Final on Sunday afternoon in front of over 800 fans at the ODU Soccer Complex, 1-0. The soccer Monarchs won their second C-USA title in school history.

Old Dominion’s lone goal came in the 28th minute by Niko Klosterhalfen. Klosterhalfen dodged a Charlotte defender and blasted one past the 49er goalkeeper.

“The first time was obviously special, it was the first (C-USA) one for the university but this one is even more special. We came into this season, we were picked seventh in the league, we finished second and won the trophy so I’m very happy,” explained head coach Alan Dawson.

Each goalkeeper had two saves a piece.

Old Dominion now has three C-USA titles as a university, two for men’s soccer and one by women’s golf.

Mertcan Akar tallied his fourth straight shutout and collects nine shutouts for the 2017 season so far. Four straight shutouts is the most since 2006, when the Old Dominion goalkeeper tallied five straight shutouts that season. On top of that, nine shutouts in one season is the most an Old Dominion goalkeeper has tallied since 2009, when they had 10.

Four Monarchs earned All-Tournament team honors. Niko Klosterhalfen named Offensive MVP, Mertcan Akar selected as Defensive MVP, Sebastien Hauret and Fox Slotemaker earned spots on the All-Tournament team.

12 teams under head coach Alan Dawson will be sent to the NCAA Tournament. The last time Dawson sent his Monarchs to the NCAA Tournament was in 2014.

The Monarchs now notch a seventh conference title to their list. This includes two CAA titles and three Sun Belt titles.

In the preseason poll, the Monarchs were originally picked to finish in seventh.