BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lenoir-Rhyne University men's soccer team battled its way to a 1-0 victory over Lees-McRae College on Thursday night at Tate Field, scoring the match's only goal early in the second half and staving off a late charge by the Bobcats to hold on for the victory.
Lees-McRae (3-2) outshot the Bears (3-1) by a 14-8 margin in the match, including three attempts that were denied by the woodwork. The two sides played skillful, flowing soccer for much of the night, engaging in constant battles for possession throughout the contest.
Neither team could break the deadlock throughout the first 45 minutes, with the best scoring chance of the opening half coming in the 29th minute when Lees-McRae's Lee Squires (Sheffield, U.K.) sent a beautifully struck bending ball across the face of goal from 20 yards distance, only to watch his glorious effort ring off the far post.
Lenoir-Rhyne turned up the intensity in the early stages of the second half, finally ending the scoring drought midway through the 56th minute when Jordan Holmes (Southport, England) sent a corner to the far post, setting up Sean Rogers (Dublin, Ireland) for the free header to put the Bears up 1-0.
The Bobcats nearly put in the equalizer in the 65th minute when James Galvani (High Wycombe, U.K.) flicked a header over the keeper and off the crossbar. Lees-McRae would outshoot the Bears by a 5-2 margin over the final 25 minutes, but L-R keeper Tom Heath (Solihull, England) would be equal to the task, making a pair of clutch saves to preserve the shutout.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats host Mount Olive College to resume their Conference Carolinas schedule. The match is slated to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
- LMC -