DUE WEST, S.C. – Palle Jesperson scored in the 87th minute to lift the Lees-McRae College men's soccer team to a 4-3 win over Erskine in the Conference Carolinas Quarterfinals Monday evening. The win marks the second straight season that the Bobcats have beaten the Flying Fleet in the conference tournament.
Lees-McRae got off to a great start Monday scoring two goals in the game's opening 10 minutes. The first came off a penalty kick by Thomas Deeley. It marked the fifth goal by Deeley in the past three games and gives him a team-leading 12 goals on the season. After Deeley scored, the Bobcats got a little help from Erskine as it knocked the ball into its own net to give the Bobcats a commanding 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
The Bobcats added to their lead with a goal from Tyler Oakley in the 54th minute. It was Oakley's first career goal.
With Lees-McRae leading 3-0, Erskine had to respond to keep its season alive and it did just that. Cameron Whitehurst got things started with a penalty kick goal before Niquell Dematas and Kelsey Long scored goals of their own to tie the game at 3-3 with just 13 minutes to go in regulation.
The Flying Fleet had a few chances after tying the game to take the lead in the final minutes, but Jesperson came up with the huge goal to put the Bobcats in front for good. It was Jesperson's fourth goal of the season.
With the victory, the Bobcats advance to the semifinal round of the conference tournament for the fourth consecutive season. Lees-McRae will take on top-seeded Pfeiffer at 7 p.m. in Misenheimer, N.C.