Bobcats and Bears scratch out scoreless draw

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team battled to a scoreless draw with Lenoir-Rhyne University on Wednesday night in non-conference play on Wednesday evening, nearly netting the winner in the final minute of extra time when Scott Alford's (Hillsborough, N.C.) effort nearly found the top corner.

Lees-McRae (3-8-3) controlled the pace of play for much of the match, dominating possession and outshooting Lenoir-Rhyne (5-5-4) by a 20-13 margin in the contest. Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) delivered another strong performance between the pipes for the Bobcats, tallying five saves to keep his 14th career clean sheet while moving into second on the program's all-time list in goals against average.

James Smith (Eastbourne, England) paced the Bobcats with eight shots, including three on frame, as Alford sent four attempts toward goal on the night.

Raffaelle Di Puorto led the way for Lenoir-Rhyne with four attempts at goal, including two on frame, as Chris Johnson and Mehmet Karakilinc each added three shots. Stefan Dill added eight saves to keep a clean sheet for the Bears.

The best scoring chance for either side came in the closing seconds of the second extra time period, when Alford wrung a glorious chance off the bar after Ryan Gillespie (Holly Springs, N.C.) found the forward unmarked in front of goal with 25 seconds left on the clock.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats travel to Wilson, N.C. to resume their Conference Carolinas schedule against Barton College at 7 p.m.

- LMC -