Photo courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team is back in action this week after Hurricane Florence, hosting Tusculum in non-conference action on Wednesday (Sept. 19) for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff and traveling to Erskine on Saturday (Sept. 22) for a 4 p.m. kickoff in Conference Carolinas action. Video and live stats will be available for both matches at www.lmcbobcats.com.
About the Bobcats - Lees-McRae (1-3-1, 0-1-1 Conf. Carolinas) is looking for their first Conference Carolinas win of the season, and also looking to get some momentum going. LMC leads the league in both goals and assists with 10, while their 30 total points also lead Conference Carolinas. Pol Vassart leads the conference in goals with four, while Johannes Oeksnevad and Agustin Ortiz are second on the team and tied for second in the conference with two goals. Bryce Horan and Mikael Saekingstad have also scored goals on the season for LMC. Vassart and teammate Harvey McMorrow are tied for the team and conference lead in assists with two each, while six other Bobcats have each contributed one assist on the season. Vassart's 10 total points also lead the league, while Oeksnevad and Ortiz are both tied for second on the team and in the league with five points each. Seven other Bobcats have registered at least one point on the season. Anton Sundstrom has played all 462:30 between the pipes for LMC on the season, totaling a 2.14 goals against average (GAA), 19 saves and a .633 save percentage. Sundstrom's minutes total is second in the conference, while his saves total is seventh in the league.
Last Time Out - LMC played to a 2-2 draw at North Greenville last Wednesday (Sept. 12) that was shortened by inclement weather. LMC controlled the early part of the first half, before North Greenville would show some resistance in the later stages. Ortiz notched his second goal of the year set up by Vassart on a missile from the top of the box in the third minute to give the Bobcats the lead. Vassart would double LMC's lead in the 20th minute with his fourth of the season, making a run straight at a defender before beating him to the left and then beating the keeper to make it 2-0. NGU would get on the board in the 38th minute on Casey Brady's first of the season, and the 2-1 score would hold at the half. North Greenville would tie the match at two in the 67th minute when Nick Robinson set up Keletso Mathathe for his first of the season, on a ball played into the box from the far side. The Bobcats would get one of their best chances on a failed clear by NGU in the 78th minute, when the ball was played to Fredrik Haave at the top of the box. Haave fired it over a crowd where it caught the cross bar behind North Greenville keeper Noah Kendrick. With 1:47 left in regulation as the heavy rain picked up, the match was sent into a lightning delay before officially being called a draw. LMC totaled 19 shots in the contest, including putting 12 on net. Ortiz and McMorrow led the team with five shots apiece, while McMorrow put four of his shots on net and three of Ortiz's shots found the frame. Vassart totaled four shots including three on net, while Francisco Silvestre registered three shots and put one on net. Haave also recorded two shots on the night with one on net. Lees-McRae won the battle for corner kicks 8-3 on the night. LMC also held North Greenville to only eight shots on the night. Sundstrom made two saves in the contest.
About the Opponents - Tusculum comes into the matchup at 2-3-0 overall and 0-1-0 in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). The Pioneers come into the matchup being tied for fourth in the SAC with seven total goals, being tied for second in assists with six and thy are also fourth in the conference in points with 20. Oscar Rubio Jimenez leads the Pioneers with two goals on the season, while five other Pioneers have found the back of the net this year. Fabian Proesch leads the team with two assists, while four others have contributed assists on the season. Jimenez is also the team's points leader with four, while Dario Ljubic and Ayuk Tambe each have three points on the season. Four other players have two points each on the season while two others have contributed one point each on the season. Alejandro Quiriti has played all 450:00 for Tusculum in net, owning a 1.80 GAA, making 17 saves and totaling a .654 save percentage. His GAA is ninth in the SAC, while his 17 total saves are fourth in the league and his .654 save percentage is ninth in the conference.
Erskine comes into the match at 1-3-0 overall and 0-1-0 in Conference Carolinas. Before welcoming LMC to Due West, S.C. this weekend, the Flying Fleet will travel to Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday (Sept. 19). Erskine has totaled two goals, two assists and six points on the season. Dario Pavon and Tim Boeckstaens have each scored on the season for Erskine, while Pavon and Alex Mushata have each tallied one assist on the season. Pavon is the team's leader in points with three, while Boeckstaens has two points on the year and Mushata has one. Alex Pico has played all 360:00 between the pipes for Erskine, owning a 2.00 GAA, 20 saves and a .714 save percentage. His GAA is ninth in Conference Carolinas, while his saves total is sixth in the conference and his .714 save percentage is also ninth in the league.
Series History vs. Opponents - This will be the 24th all-time meeting between LMC and Tusculum, with Tusculum leading the series 15-7 with one tie also included. The Bobcats shut out Tusculum 3-0 in last year's meeting.
This will be the 33rd all-time meeting between Lees-McRae and Erskine, with LMC leading the all-time series 20-10 with two ties also included. LMC won last year's matchup with a 5-1 victory in the Conference Carolinas tournament.