Shahdad header lifts Bobcats past Crusaders in extra time thriller

Box score

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Freshman Preston Shahdad (Charlotte, N.C.) picked as good a time as any to score his first collegiate goal on Saturday night, delivering the match-winner in the 10th minute of extra time to lead the Lees-McRae College men's soccer team to a 1-0 win over North Greenville University in Conference Carolinas play at Tate Field.

Lees-McRae (4-2, 2-1 CC) outshot North Greenville (2-3, 1-1 CC) by a 20-16 margin, including an 11-5 advantage in the first half, in a physical match that featured five cautions and 34 fouls. Shahdad, James Galvani (High Wycombe, England), and David Palmer (South Shields, England) each attempted a match-high five shots at goal, as Shahdad tallied his first career goal following Kevin Osorio's (Marietta, Ga.) first collegiate assist.

The match remained goalless and level throughout regulation, as North Greenville was unable to provide the breakthrough despite a pair of open-net opportunities in the 60th and 62nd minutes. Galvani nearly broke the deadlock in the 81st minute, but was denied by Crusader keeper Justen Braddock to send the match into extra time.

Lees-McRae controlled the run of play in the extra period, outshooting the Crusaders by a 3-1 margin. The Bobcats provided the breakthrough in the final minute of the first extra time period following a tremendous buildup.

After a Palmer corner kick sailed through the area and the ball was played out into touch by North Greenville, Osorio took possession on the right flank and curled a brilliant cross into the area. The cross found Shahdad unmarked on the near post, putting the freshman in perfect position to flick the finish over the Crusader keeper and into the back of the net for the winner.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Tuesday, traveling to Greeneville, Tenn. to take on Tusculum College in a pivotal NCAA Division II Southeast Region matchup at 7 p.m.

- LMC -