Bobcats Jump One Spot, Ranked #2 in the Country

BANNER ELK, NC--The Lees-Mc Rae Bobcats men's soccer team moved up one spot in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America national poll, from third to second this week. The Bobcats earned a 2-0 record last week to improve to 11-1-1 overall, leading Conference Carolinas with a 6-1 record.

"Obviously once again we're very proud of the guys. They have put in a great deal of hard work from day one of preseason," stated third year Head Coach Chris Whalley. "It's a great accomplishment for everyone involved, the players, coaches and Lees-McRae College. However, at the moment we're completely focused on our game Wednesday against Lander and the rest of the season ahead of us."

The Bobcats stand head and shoulders above the rest of Conference Carolinas in almost each statistical category. The Bobcats own the best team offense, scoring 44 goals (3.38 per game) while conceding the least, just nine (0.69 per game) in 13 games this season. The Bobcats have also taken the most shots (206), scored the most points (121), goals (44) and assists (33). Individually, Lee Squires (Sheffield, England) and Berin Boracic (Orlando, FL) sit one-two in Conference Carolinas scoring. Squires has posted a conference-leading 13 goals and four assists for 30 points and is currently the 12th leading scorer in the nation. Boracic trails Squires by one point for the Conference Carolinas scoring crown, tallying 11 goals and a conference leading seven assists as the nation's 15th leading scorer.
Defensively, Sean Paradise (North Point, FL) has seen much of the action in the goal for the Bobcats, leading the conference in goals against average of 0.58, as well as save percentage of .857. The goals against average posted by Paradise through 13 games is also ranked 11th best in the country while his save percentage is currently sixth. Paradise has also posted a conference high six shutouts this season.

"I am extremely proud to be an alumnus of this great program and to see the boys ranked number two in the country. I was happy to be given the opportunity to continue with the men's soccer program in a coaching capacity after graduation," commented Assistant and Goalkeepers Coach Calvin Dixon '05 who guided the Bobcats to a pair of conference championships as a goalkeeper in his playing days. "Where we are today is a tribute to the players and the hard work that they have put in. However we cannot become complacent and must continue to work hard to ensure that we are still battling as one of the top teams in the country in the middle of November."

The Bobcats will wrap up their regular season with four of five games on the road. First up will be a tough non-conference matchup against regional rival Lander University. The Bobcats will travel to Greenwood, SC to take on Lander, the number two team in the Southeast Region behind the Bobcats. Kickoff is set for 5:00pm.

PICTURED TOP LEFT: Calvin Dixon