#2 Bobcats Top Queens in NCAA First Round

BANNER ELK, NC--The top seeded Lees-McRae College Bobcats defeated fourth seeded Queens University of Charlotte Royals 3-0 Thursday evening in NCAA Men's Soccer Southeast Region action at Tate Field. The Bobcats, hosts of the Southeast Regional and the number two team in the country improve to 20-1-1 while Queens finishes their season with a 10-7-3 record.

In a rematch of the Conference Carolinas Championship game, the Bobcats earned their third victory and third shutout over the Royals this season, defeating them 1-0 in both the regular season and playoffs. With the supportive home crowd behind them, the nation's top ranked offense (3.62 goals per game) came out flying, looking to put the game away early. After Queens goalie Dan Williams (Kingwood, TX) stopped the Bobcats' Lee Squires (Sheffield, England) just over five minutes in, the Conference Carolinas leading scorer and Tournament MVP would make no mistake the second time, tallying his 23rd of the season in the eighth minute. Tom Brailsford's (Rotherham, England) service into the 18 yard box from just past center, would allow Kyle McGimsey (Plant City, FL) to get his head on it, directing the ball to Squires. With room to maneuver, Squires would find the open corner to give the Bobcats the early 1-0 lead. Four minutes later, defender Nate Wall (Des Moines, IA) would recognize a hole in the Royals defense, moving forward after finding Conference Carolinas and Daktronics Southeast Region Player of the Year Berin Boracic (Orlando, FL) at the top of the box. Wall and Boracic would slide through the defense utilizing a beautiful give-and-go with Boracic cashing in on his career high 18th goal of the season. The Bobcats would hold the two goal lead through to halftime.

With the two goal cushion, the Bobcats back line would tighten up, looking to hold the clean sheet on the scoreboard. Never a team to shy away from the offense, the Bobcats would add an insurance marker in the 75th minute, as Squires would score his second of the contest. McGimsey's well placed ball, just behind the Royals defender, would allow Squires the chance to use his speed, winning the ball and scoring on the breakaway against Williams.

Williams would finish the game with eight saves after the Bobcats outshot the Royals 21-8. Sean Paradise (North Point, FL) earned his tenth shutout of the season, the Bobcats' twelfth of the year, registering four saves.

The Bobcats move on to face #19 Lander University who defeated #14 Clayton State 1-0 earlier on Saturday evening. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm at Tate Field Saturday, November 10th.

Post Game Comments:

"We're very happy with the result. I think we played well at times; but we've got to understand that we need to be more consistent and play better on Saturday in order to beat Lander."
- Lees-McRae Head Coach Chris Whalley

"We've still got to take things game by game. Saturday's game will be more difficult, but we're good enough to move on…we just don't want this season to end."
- SO Lee Squires

"It feels good winning in a National Tournament over a tough team like Queens. It's also nice for the team to pick up another clean sheet. When we get a shutout, it's due to the solid play of everyone on the field. We're looking forward to Lander on Saturday, and we're aware that it's going to be another tough game."
- SO Sean Paradise

"Lees-McRae was definitely the better team tonight; they came out hard, and got two good goals early. They're a very well-rounded team; they definitely took the game from us. If Lees-McRae can keep this intensity up they should do very well. We had a good season and I am proud of this team and the year we had."
- Queens Head Coach Fred Norchi

"Lees-McRae just played better today. We battled hard, and we'll be battling again next year. All the best to Lees-McRae, they'll do well if they continue to play like that."
- JR Chad Pinnick

"The whole game was about heart, and Lees-McRae showed they wanted it, and they took it. We have a good team, we've had ups and down this year, overall we just weren't as complete as Lees-McRae."
- SO Dan Williams



PICTURED BOTTOM LOWER: Team after 1st round victory