GAFFNEY, S.C. --- The Limestone College men's soccer team weathered an early surge by Lees-McRae College in Conference Carolinas play on Saturday evening, scoring three goals in the first 45 minutes and held off a strong second-half rally by the Bobcats en route to a 3-0 win.
Limestone (9-2, 6-0 CC) controlled the run of play for much of the match, outshooting Lees-McRae (6-6-1, 4-3 CC) by a 16-5 margin, including a 6-3 advantage in the second half. The Saints held a 6-4 edge in attempts for the corner in a physical match that featured 21 fouls and two cautions.
Jack Bailey, Larry Mahon, and Sam Orritt each found the back of the net for the Saints, as Jorge Mackenna added a pair of assists. Kyle Karagitz, Tom Godfrey and Jacob Boyle combined to keep a clean sheet.
The Bobcats opened the match with an early push, nearly snatching the breakthrough in the fifth minute when Rieger's headed effort was cleared off the line and Chris Mullins' (Greensboro, N.C.) follow-up took a deflection on its way toward goal.
Limestone responded with a surge of its own, taking a 1-0 lead when Mackenna set up Bailey for a strike into the upper 90 from just inside the area early in the 16th minute. Mahon then doubled the advantage to 2-0 in the 24th, converting from the spot after a hand ball in the box. Orritt would add a third in the 35th minute, making a run in from the flank off a ball from Mackenna and slotting the finish into the bottom corner.
The Bobcats came out of the interval with a concerted push, coming within inches of an answer in the 48th minute when Yago Xavier's (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) sailed just high of the bar. Rieger and Travis Stover (Titusville, Fla.) each had an attempt blocked in the 62nd off a corner from Matthew Cureton (Waxhaw, N.C.) in the midst of perhaps Lees-McRae's best stretch of the match.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Tuesday when the Bobcats travel to Milligan College, Tenn. to take on Milligan College in a non-conference matchup at 6:30 p.m.
- LMC -