HARTSVILLE, S.C. --- The No. 10 Flagler College men's soccer team scored 16 seconds into the second extra time period on Friday evening to record a 2-1 victory over Lees-McRae College in the first round of the NCAA Division II men's soccer championship.
Flagler (16-3-2) outshot Lees-McRae (16-6-1) by a 16-10 margin, including an 11-3 advantage in the first half, while holding a 9-6 edge in corner kicks. Marco Padilla and Brandon Langengerg each tallied a goal for the Saints, while Will Frandsen added an assist. James Smith (Eastbourne, England) tallied the lone goal for the Bobcats, as sophomore Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, England) made seven saves between the pipes. Camp Bissell tallied three stops for Flagler.
The match remained scoreless until midway through the 44th minute, while Langenberg found the back of the net from close range to send the Saints into the interval with a narrow 1-0 lead. Smith put the Bobcats back on level pegging in the 54th minute, finding the back of the net with a free kick from 25 yards distance to even the tally at 1-1 with his sixth goal of the season.
Each goalkeeper was asked to make several tremendous saves throughout the remainder of regulation, as both net minders recorded a trio of stops to send the match into extra time. Neither team would find the breakthrough in the first extra time period, sending the match into the second 10-minute phase when Flagler struck quickly, scoring the match-winner just 16 seconds in when Frandsen found Padilla for the deciding finish from close range.
Lees-McRae is expected to return 17 letter-winners from this year's Conference Carolinas Western Division Champion squad, including all-conference selections Smith, Rusling, and James Galvani (High Wycombe, England).
- LMC -