MISENHEIMER, N.C. --- Freshman Alex Hasler (Browns Summit, N.C.) tallied his first collegiate goal, and Matthew Cureton (Waxhaw, N.C.) added a goal and an assist to lead the Lees-McRae College men's soccer team to a 2-0 win over Pfeiffer University in Conference Carolinas play on Thursday afternoon.
With the victory, Lees-McRae (5-3, 3-0 CC) stretches its win streak to five and has now kept a clean sheet for 383:52 consecutive minutes, a stretch that includes four straight matches. The Bobcats outshot Pfeiffer (3-5-1, 1-3 CC) by a 14-11 margin in the contest, including an 8-6 edge in the second half, as the teams each attempted three corner kicks.
Hasler opened his collegiate account and tallied his first career match-winner with the same strike, as Cureton netted his second of the season while adding an assist on Hasler's opener. Jordan Wright (West Lothian, Scotland) paced the Bobcats with a match-high six shots, including three on frame, as Scott Alford (Hillsborough, N.C.) took a trio of attempts toward goal.
Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) kept his fourth consecutive clean sheet and 18th of his career, moving within three of a tie for third on the program's all-time list with a four save performance.
Nicolas Dulac made four saves between the pipes for the Falcons, as Luke James, Kyle Toler, Jaime Sanclemente, and Simon Leslie each took a pair of attempts toward frame.
Freshman Marvyn Rieger (Frankfurt, Germany) nearly got the Bobcats off to a flying start in the seventh minute, sending a header just wide of the post off a corner from Cureton. Sanclemente came within inches of netting the go-ahead goal for the Falcons in the 21st minute, only to be denied by a brilliant save from Rusling.
Neither team would find the breakthrough through the remainder of the first half, with perhaps the best opportunity for either side coming off the foot of Wright in the 44th minute that forced a save from Dulac to preserve the deadlock.
The Bobcats opened the scoring late in the 49th minute, when a strong buildup down the right flank paved the way for a cross in to Cureton, who found the onrushing Hasler for the cheeky side footed finish into the top corner for a 1-0 LMC lead. Cureton would double the advantage to 2-0 in the 57th, winning his own penalty before slotting the spot kick into the right corner as the keeper dove left.
Rusling would preserve the shutout with a superb save in the 83rd minute, putting his quick reflexes on full display with a top drawer reactionary stop on Leslie's point-blank chance inside the area.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Saturday when the Bobcats celebrate Homecoming Weekend with a 4 p.m. conference matchup against Barton College on Tate Field.
- LMC -