GREENWOOD, S.C. --- The No. 15 Lander University men's soccer team scored a pair of quick second-half goals in a physical match en route to a hard-fought 2-0 victory over Lees-McRae College in Southeast region play on Saturday evening.
Lander (1-0) edged Lees-McRae (0-2) by a 6-5 margin in attempts on goal in a physical contest largely played in the center of the park. The Bobcats held a narrow 4-3 advantage in corner kicks at full time, with senior goalkeeper Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) being called upon to make a trio of saves.
Freshman Jordan Wright (Winchburgh, West Lothian, Scotland) led the Bobcat attack with two shots, including one on frame, as Matthew Cureton (Waxhaw, N.C.) also forced the Bearcat keeper to make a skillful stop to preserve the clean sheet.
Clement Dauchy and Jose Cubillan each found the back of the net for Lander, while Russell Parker and Brett Jankouskas added two and one assists, respectively. Dauchy paced the Bearcats with three shots, all on frame, as goalkeeper Barrett Nielsen made two saves in a shutout effort.
The Bearcats wasted little time testing Rusling in the match but the Englishman was equal to the task, denying a Dauchy effort less than 90 seconds into the contest. Cureton and Wright forced Nielsen into a pair of saves in the 35th and 40th minutes, each nearly breaking the deadlock in search for their first goal with the Bobcats.
After the went into the interval level and scoreless, Lander struck first just over five minutes into the second half, taking a 1-0 lead when Parker fed Cubillan from the right flank midway through the 51st minute. The Bearcats would add a second in the 57th minute, claiming a 2-0 advantage when Dauchy tapped home a combination feed from Parker and Jankouskas inside the six-yard box.
Scott Alford (Hillsborough, N.C.) nearly got the Bobcats on the board midway through the 72nd minute, only to have his effort blocked by the defense.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Wednesday when the Bobcats host Mars Hill University on Tate Field in their home opener at 7 p.m.
- LMC -