Tornado hold off fierce Bobcat rally, 4-3

Tornado hold off fierce Bobcat rally, 4-3
Box score

BRISTOL, Tenn. --- The King College men's soccer team withstood a furious rally by Lees-McRae College on Wednesday evening, holding on for a narrow 4-3 win in Conference Carolinas action.

King (1-2-1, 1-1 CC) took advantage with two early goals, carrying a 3-1 lead into the interval despite Lees-McRae (3-2, 1-1 CC) holding a 25-19 margin in attempts at goal. Tom Winspear paced the Tornado with three goals and one assist, opening the evening's scoring just 3:44 into the match. Zach Caracciolo added a goal of his own, while Shoval Failer, Sam Nicol, and Zachary Clark each tallied an assist.

Freshman James Smith (Eastbourne, England) and senior David Palmer (South Shields, England) led the way for Lees-McRae with a goal and an assist each, as James Galvani (High Wycombe, England) added a goal of his own. Luke Staats (Almere, Netherlands) and Preston Shahdad (Charlotte, N.C.) each chipped in an assist, as Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) stopped seven attempts at goal for the Bobcats.

Winspear opened the scoring for King in the fourth minute, delivering the finish off a quick pass from Nicol following a Bobcat turnover to give the Tornado an early 1-0 lead. Caracciolo doubled the advantage to 2-0 in the 10th minute, slotting the finish into the back of the net from Winspear and Failer.

Palmer halved the advantage to 2-1 late in the 31st minute, delivering the free header into the back off the net after Smith flicked on a free kick from Staats. Winspear regained the two-goal advantage for the Tornado less than 30 seconds before the interval, slotting the finish past the keeper off a through ball from Clark to send King into the break with a 3-1 lead.

The score remained 3-1 until the 74th minute, when Winspear completed the treble from the penalty spot to push the margin to 4-1. Lees-McRae continued to fight, trimming the margin to 4-2 early in the 84th minute when Smith delivered the finish from point blank range following a Palmer corner and a flick on by Shahdad. Galvani kept the rally going in the 89th minute, taking advantage of a loose ball in the area and slotting home the finish to cut the margin to 4-3.

King preserved the margin from there, as Tornado goalkeeper Patrick Milfred denied Galvani's equalizing chance midway through the 90th minute to seal the victory.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats host North Greenville University in a conference matchup. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. at Tate Field.

- LMC -