Bobcats place five on all-Conference Carolinas teams

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- Senior Luke Duffy (Wakefield, England) was named to the all-Conference Carolinas first team for the third consecutive season Thursday, leading a group of five players from the Lees-McRae College men's soccer team on the all-conference teams.

Duffy and sophomore James Galvani (High Wycombe, England) were both named to the first team, while senior Luke Staats (Almere, Netherlands) and freshman James Smith (Eastbourne, England) each earned a spot on the second team. Sophomore goalkeeper Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) also garnered all-conference recognition for the first time in his career, earning a place on the third team.

A native of Wakefield, England, Duffy becomes just the second player in program history to earn all-Conference Carolinas honors in each of his four seasons as a Bobcat. The senior defender led the Bobcats to 9-2 record in conference play this season, as LMC captured the Western Division crown and the second overall seed in the league tournament. Duffy also helped the Bobcat backline keep four clean sheets against league opponents, while notching his first career match-winner in extra time against St. Andrews.

Galvani garners all-conference first team honors for the first time in his career, leading the Bobcat attack with 10 goals, 23 points, and three match-winners this season. A native of High Wycombe, England, Galvani notched at least two goals on three occasions this fall, including a torrid five-match stretch in which he found the back of the net nine times.

Staats caps a tremendous four-year career in the Green and Gold with his second straight all-conference selection, helping the Bobcat backline keep five clean sheets this season while posting four assists. The Almere, Netherlands native has developed a habit of coming through in the clutch throughout his career, with three of his four assists this season being credited on match-winning goals for the Bobcats.

Smith has enjoyed a strong first year with the Bobcats, concluding the regular season ranked first on the team and tied for second in the conference with six assists in league play. A native of Eastbourne, England, Smith has also tallying a trio of goals this season, including one match-winner, to enter Friday's conference tournament semifinal ranked second on the team with 13 points.

Rusling put together a solid sophomore campaign with the Bobcats this fall, posting a 7-2 record in conference play to go along with four clean sheets and a 1.26 goals against average. The Sheffield, England native has allowed one goal or less in 11 matches this season, including five clean sheets and a pair of victories over nationally-ranked teams Flagler College and Coker College.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Friday when the second-seeded Bobcats host sixth-seeded Erskine College in the semifinal round at 7 p.m. on Tate Field. The Flying Fleet won the regular season matchup between the sides by a 3-1 score line in Banner Elk on Oct. 19.

- LMC -