BANNER ELK, N.C. - Freshman Luke Perry scored the game-winning goal in 56th minute for the Lees-McRae College Bobcats men's soccer team in a 2-1 win over the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters Friday night at Tate Field in a nonconference match.
The Bobcats had the first real chance of the match when Perry sent a shot high over the crossbar in the seventh minute from inside ten yards. The Railspiltters best shot of the first half came when Fernando Silverra set a bending ball just under the crossbar forcing Bobcat keeper, Sean Paradise, to make a brilliant save.
Lincoln Memorial fired off 11 first half shots compared to three for Lees-McRae.
Four minutes into the second half the Bobcats struck first with a goal from Berin Boracic, his second of the season. Luke Staats took the ball down the field and fired a cross that Jamie Bladen struck. Lincoln Memorial's keeper, Michael Watkins, made the save on Bladen's ball, but Boracic was there for the rebound to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead.
At the 52:31 minute mark, a Bobcat player made a hard tackle resulting in a red card and one player from each team earning a yellow card. This gave the Railsplitters a man-up advantage for the remainder of play.
Despite the advantage, Richard Guffins put a Jamie Price free kick on goal forcing Watkins to make a save leaving Perry wide open to collect to rebound and the goal in the 56th minute. The goal was the Perry's second of the season, and Guffins earned his third assist of the season.
Lincoln Memorial closed the margin to 2-1 in the 63rd minute on a Brito Martins goal. Jemal Talore had the assist on the play, but Lees-McRae held the lead over the final 27 minutes to earn the win.
The Railsplitters outshot the Bobcats 26-7 and held the corner kick advantage 5-1.
Paradise collected 11 saves to earn his third win of the season in goal, while Watkins made three saves in the loss.
"I don't think we performed as we needed to in the first half, but the guys came out in the second half and showed great character by performing a lot better," Bobcat head coach Chris Whalley said. "We fought and scrapped for everything in the second half, and I felt we got out of the game what we deserved with the win. We worked hard for each other out there tonight."
The Bobcats improve to 3-0 overall, while the Railsplitters fall to 2-1.
Lees-McRae will travel to Carson-Newman Wednesday, September 9th at 6:00 p.m. for their next match.