Pioneers blank Bobcats, 2-0

Pioneers blank Bobcats, 2-0

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum College men's soccer team scored early in the first half and added a late strike en route to a 2-0 victory over visiting Lees-McRae College in non-conference action on Friday evening at Pioneer Field.

Tusculum (2-1) outshot Lees-McRae (1-2) by a 16-7 margin, including a 9-3 advantage in the second half, while controlling possession in midfield for much of the match. James Galvani (High Wycombe, England) paced the Bobcats with three attempts at goal while Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) made a pair of saves between the pipes.

Cody Kammerzell and Matias Rubio each found the back of the net to pace the Pioneers, as Kammerzell and Andre Bissmark both made three attempts at goal in the match. Adam Kulbat and Roberto Pimentel each tallied an assist for the Pioneers, while Andy Goellner kept a clean sheet for Tusculum with three saves.

Tusculum claimed the early lead in the opening moments of the 20th minute, taking a 1-0 lead when Kammerzell nodded home a header off a throw in on a cross from Adam Kulbat. The Bobcats responded with a strong push into the attacking third, forcing Goellner to make a trio of solid saves, including a superb stop on a header by Galvani in the 34th minute.

The Pioneers would hold the narrow advantage through the remainder of the first half, taking the 1-0 lead into the interval after Roberto Pimentel nearly doubled the margin in the 37th minute when his attempt sailed just wide of the woodwork. Tusculum continued to press the attack in the second half, threatening to push the advantage to 2-0 when Stephen McNeill's effort wrung off the bar in the early moments of the 74th minute.

After Simon Corell forced Rusling to make a strong save to preserve the one-goal margin in the 78th minute, the Bobcats made a desperate push into the attacking third in search of the equalizer, nearly leveling proceedings off a pair of corner kicks from James Smith (Eastbourne, England) in the 87th and 90th minutes.

The Pioneers responded immediately on the counter, as Pimentel pushed down the flank and found Rubio in front of goal. Rubio took full advantage, slotting home the finish to double the advantage to 2-0 with less than a minute remaining.

"We know we were not good enough tonight," said Bobcat head coach Lee Squires. "We need to turn things around quickly in order to meet the goals we have set for this season."

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Sunday when the Bobcats take on Carson-Newman College on the final day of Tusculum's Stanno Tournament at 3 p.m.

- LMC -