BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Lee Squires (Sheffield, U.K.) scored his league-leading 13th goal of the season early in the second half to lead the Lees-McRae College men's soccer team to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Coker College on Saturday evening at Tate Field. With the win, the Bobcats (11-4-2, 7-1-1 CC) clinch their fourth straight Conference Carolinas regular season championship, earning the top seed in next week's conference tournament.
Lees-McRae outshot the Cobras (6-6-4, 3-4-2 CC) by a 14-9 margin, including a 10-4 advantage in the first half, as Squires and David Palmer (Gateshead, U.K.) scored a pair of masterful goals to pace the Bobcats. Luke Perry (Cheshire, U.K.) and Addison Day (Hickory, N.C.) each tallied an assist for LMC, while Eric Stiefield (Eustis, Fla.) tallied his second goal of the season to pace the Cobras.
Stiefield opened the scoring midway through the sixth minute, taking a lead pass from Storm Wishart (Brampton, Ontario) and slotting it past the LMC keeper to give the Cobras an early 1-0 lead. Palmer put the Bobcats back on terms in the opening moments of the 38th minute, accepting a drop off from Perry and delivering a skillful finish inside the far post to send the two sides into the interval on level pegging at 1-1.
Lees-McRae wasted little time in the second half, claiming the advantage early in the 47th minute when Day sent a cross from the right flank into the box for Squires. The All-American forward then settled, turned, and struck a fantastic finish into the top corner from just inside the area to give LMC a 2-1 lead.
Coker would launch attack after attack in search of the equalizer, only to be denied by superb play from Lees-McRae goalkeeper Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, U.K.), who made a trio of stellar saves for the Bobcats.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Tuesday when the top-seeded Bobcats host eighth-seeded Queens University of Charlotte in the quarterfinal round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament. The match is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. at Tate Field.
- LMC -