Early strikes lift Bobcats over Eagles, 2-1

Early strikes lift Bobcats over Eagles, 2-1
Box score

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. --- The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team scored two goals in the opening four minutes, and held off a furious rally by Carson-Newaman College en route to a 2-1 win on Tuesday night in NCAA Division II Southeast Region play.

Lees-McRae (6-3-1) edged Carson-Newman (3-6) by an 11-7 margin in attempts on goal, including a 6-0 advantage in the first half, as the Bobcats notched their second straight one-goal victory.

Sophomore James Galvani (High Wycombe, England) paced the Bobcats with a goal and an assist, as freshman James Smith (Eastbourne, England) notched his team-leading third goal and first career match-winner. Senior Tyler Gibson (Gastonia, N.C.) played the full 90 minutes between the pipes for the Bobcats, making three saves for his second straight win.

Robert Hill tallied the lone goal for Carson-Newman, as Daniel Zitt collected the assist. Michael Alley went the distance in goal for the Eagles, making three saves.

Galvani put the first tally on the scoreboard just 58 seconds into the match, converting from the spot for his second goal of the season to give the Bobcats an early 1-0 lead advantage. Smith doubled the margin to 2-0 midway through the fourth minute, taking a cross from Galvani and delivering a perfect finish into the back of the net for his third goal of the season.

The Bobcats held Carson-Newman off the scoreboard until the 80th minute, when Zitt flicked it on to Hill and put the forward in position to force his way through a one-on-one, and trim the margin to 2-1 with his fifth goal of the season. Carson-Newman nearly leveled proceedings and sent the match into extra time in the 89th minute, when Whit Gray's equalizing attempt was turned aside by Gibson to clinch the victory for the Bobcats.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats host Queens University of Charlotte in a Conference Carolinas matchup at 7 p.m. on Tate Field.

- LMC -