Bobcats Add Defensive Depth

BANNER ELK, NC - Lees-McRae College men's soccer head coach Chris Whalley has announced that Nektorias Matthew "Matt" Karas has signed the National Letter of Intent and will join the Bobcats soccer program. The Concord, N.C. native will enroll at Lees-McRae in August and join the Bobcats for preseason training.

"Matt is a natural left-sided player and will bring good depth to both the left side of defense and midfield," commented Whalley. "Matt is also a great student athlete; we're looking forward to adding another quality young man to our program and working with him this fall."

Matt will graduate from Concord High School this spring after earning Southern Piedmont All Conference honors in his sophomore, junior, and senior seasons. A two-year team captain at Concord, Matt has also seen time with the North Meck Club Team as well the North Carolina State Team (South Region). An excellent student, Matt has also won awards off the field including being selected as a North Carolina Scholar Athlete, the Pinnacle Scholarship and being named to the National Honors Society.

"Matt is a solid defender with a great work ethic. He will bring depth to our backline," added assistant coach Calvin Dixon '05.

The son of Steve and Betsy Karas, Matt will be pursuing a degree in Biology and Environmental Studies while attending Lees-McRae.

The Bobcats are coming off of a record setting 2007 season, winning both the Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament championships while also winning the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship before falling in the NCAA Division II National Championships Elite Eight. The Bobcats were ranked as the seventh team in the country in the NSCAA/adidas final National Poll and finished the season as the highest scoring team in the country averaging 3.33 goals per game.

Previously the Bobcats won the Carolinas-Virginia Athletic Conference Championship in 1998, 2002 and 2003. Current assistant coaches Nick Young '02 and Calvin Dixon '05 each earned two championships during their time in green and gold.

PICTURED: Chris Whalley