BANNER ELK, N.C. - Sean Paradise made two saves in the shootout period and Kyle McGimsey made the game-winning goal in the fifth round of a shootout to give the Lees-McRae College Bobcats the Conference Carolinas Tournament Championship win over the Anderson University Trojans Sunday afternoon at Tate Field.
It took 110:00 minutes, two red cards, six yellow cards, 52 total fouls, 31 combined shots, two goals and all five shootout rounds to crown the Bobcats repeat Conference Carolinas Tournament Champions.
Anderson opened the scoring in the 14th minute on a free kick from Lasse Sohrweide that was headed into the back of the Bobcat net by James Moseley.
The Bobcats answered in 28th minute when a Luke Staats' (Almere, Holland) cross found David Palmer (Gateshead, England) on the back post for the goal.
Eighty-two minutes later, the game heads to a shootout.
In the first round of the shootout, Paradise (North Port, Fla.) came up big for the Bobcats when he saved Sohrweide's attempt. Staats put his opportunity in the net for the Bobcats. The second round started off with a Kevin Valkenburg make for the Trojans, and David Palmer missed his opportunity to tie the score at one. Paulo Passini missed his opportunity to start the third round, and Lee Squires (Sheffield, England) capitalized for the Bobcats to give the Bobcats a 2-1 lead. Peter Miele put his opportunity into the back for the net for the Trojans to open the fourth round. Dale Parker (Worksop, England) missed his opportunity for the Bobcats to tie the score at two all.
With the title on the line, Paradise made a huge save for the Bobcats in the fifth round. Moseley tried to fool Paradise by going down the middle, but Paradise was able to maintain his balance and deflect the shot to put the match on the feet of McGimsey (Plant City, Fla.). McGimsey delivered for the Bobcats when he found the right corner to earn the Bobcats the title.
Paradise made two saves in timed play and was credited with three saves in the shootout to earn the win and his spot on the All-Tournament Team. Benjamin Pepion made six saves in timed play and was credited with two saves in the shootout to earn the loss for the Trojans.
Joining Paradise on the All-Tournament Team from Lees-McRae was Squires, Palmer, Parker and Tournament MVP Luke Duffy (Wakefield, England).
Anderson had three players make the All-Tournament Team: Stephen Henry, Rayon Markland and Valkenburg.
The Bobcats outshot the Trojans 20-11 and had nine corners compared to the Trojans' two.
"It was a war," Anderson head coach Rob Miller said. "It was a hard fought game between the two best teams in the conference. Both teams had chances to put it away and couldn't."
"I am proud of the boys tonight and throughout the season going back-to-back regular season and tournament champions," Lees-McRae head coach Chris Whalley said. "I thought we were the better team and deserved the victory tonight, and we are very excited to head into the NCAA Div II Tournament for the second straight year."
With the win the Bobcats (16-2-3) will advance to the NCAA Regional Tournament with play beginning Friday, November 14th. The location is will be announced Monday at 7 p.m. on the NCAA Selection Show.
Anderson's (12-5-3) fate rests in the hands of the NCAA selection committee.
2008 Season Stats
Pictured Top: Sean Paradise, Bottom Upper: Conference Champs,
Bottom Lower: David Palmer
Alex Moreno - Pfeiffer
Brian Alenky - Belmont Abbey
Dale Parker - Lees-McRae
Stephen Henry - Anderson
Lee Squires - Lees-McRae
Rayon Markland - Anderson
David Palmer - Lees-McRae
Kevin Valkenburg - Anderson
Luke Duffy - Lees-McRae