Photo courtesy of Robert Kell
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team came from behind with mere minutes to play to stun visiting Tusculum 4-3 Wednesday night (Sept. 19) at LMC's Tate Field.
Game Summary - The Bobcats pounced on Tusculum less than 30 seconds in, when a flurry of shots bombarded Pioneers keeper Sam Gilbert. A ball in from the far side found Fredrik Haave on the doorstep who was stopped by Gilbert, before Vassart gave it a go but also was denied. It was finally Agustin Ortiz that poked it through just 24 seconds in for his third of the season to give the home team the lead. The visitors would knot the match at one-all in the ninth minute when ball movement created an odd-man rush. A ball was played through from Henrique Devens to Ayuk Tambe and then to Dario Ljubic who scored his second of the season. Tusculum would take a 2-1 lead on Sander Johansen's second goal of the season from Edgar Cervantes in the 25th minute, before LMC would respond just 1:03 later to tie the match at two. Tusculum was attempting to clear the ball out of their end, but a failed attempt found the foot of Haave again. The freshman blasted his first career marker through a crowd to bring the contest to even yet again. The two teams went to the break tied at two. Tusculum would get the big break they needed in the 61st minute when Tambe controlled a bouncing ball that was cleared out of Tusculum's end, before beating his defender to one side and chipping it over LMC keeper Anton Sundstrom to put the Pioneers up 3-2. As the match ticked down into the final five minutes, the Bobcats mounted what would be one final push for an equalizer. In the 88th minute, after a Tusculum red card had the Bobcats up a man, Philip Oldin sent a ball into the box off a near-side set piece. It was Pol Vassart getting his head on it and deflecting it past Gilbert with just over two minutes to play in regulation. Now tied at three, the teams stared extra time in the face. The clock ticked down into the final minute, and then the final 15 seconds. LMC would have a throw in on the near sideline outside the box. Connor Hahn lofted a high-arcing ball into the box that was again deflected in by Vassart for his sixth of the season. With four seconds left, LMC stormed the field in celebration, leaving those in visiting black and orange in utter disbelief.
Stats Rundown - Tusculum totaled 12 shots to LMC's 11, with LMC winning the battle in shots on goal nine to four. All of Vassart's team leading five shots were on target, while Haave and Ortiz each registered two shots on the night. Oldin and Harvey McMorrow each tallied one shot in the contest. In addition, Tusculum totaled three corner kicks to LMC's one on the night. Sundstrom (2-3-1) recorded one save in the win.
Up Next - LMC looks to take this momentum into Saturday's (Sept. 22) Conference Carolinas tilt with Erskine, which is set to kick off at 4 p.m.