Photo courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team seeks its first Conference Carolinas win of the season this week, taking on North Greenville on Tuesday (Sept. 11) at 7:30 p.m. and Chowan on Saturday (Sept. 15) at 2:30 p.m. Video and live stats will be available at www.lmcbobcats.com.
About the Bobcats - LMC (1-3-0, 0-1-0 CC) comes into the week facing two key Conference Carolinas matches. Pol Vassart's three goals lead the conference, while Johannes Oeksnevad's two goals are tied for second in the conference. Vassart and teammate Harvey McMorrow are tied for the conference lead in assists with two each, while Vassart also leads the league in points with eight. Anton Sundstrom has played every minute in the net for LMC, owning a 2.17 goals against average (GAA) and being tied for fifth in the conference with 17 saves.
Last Time Out – The Bobcats knocked of No. 10 in the Southeast region Mars Hill 5-1 back on Wednesday (Sept. 5), before falling in their conference opener at Southern Wesleyan 3-2 on Saturday (Sept. 8). Against Mars Hill, the Bobcats began the offensive pressure early on, and it would pay off in the ninth minute. Oeksnevad was able to head his second of the year past Mars Hill's keeper Brian Salzman off a McMorrow corner kick to put the home team up 1-0. The Bobcats would double their lead in the 32nd minute when Oeksnevad found Agustin Ortiz at the top of the box. Facing defenders, Ortiz made one move to his right and sent a laser to the back of the net to put the Bobcats up 2-0. LMC would take its 2-0 lead to the half. The next Bobcat goal would come in the 66th minute, when Anders Stoakes worked to set up Vassart with a long ball down the field. Vassart was able to make a move on his defender and stash home his first of the season to increase the LMC lead to 3-0. Mars Hill would get its first goal of the night off a free kick from Sebastian Bertilsson for his second of the season to make it a 3-1 game. Vassart would do his part again to distance his team with his second goal of the half in the 85th minute, scoring a header off a far-side set piece from McMorrow. Bryce Horan would come on in reserve and get in on the scoring when Francisco Silvestre fed Connor Hahn and set up a 2-on-1 against Mars Hill's keeper Salzman. Hahn dished to Horan who one-timed it into the back of the net for the final goal of the night in the 90th minute. Lees-McRae totaled 12 shots in the contest, with eight of them being put on frame. Vassart led all shooters with four total, while all three of Ortiz's attempts were on target. Oeksnevad put both of his shots on target, while three other Bobcats each tallied one shot on the night. Sundstrom made two saves in the win.
Against SWU, the two teams were scoreless into the 24th minute before Zackery White got the Warriors the 1-0 lead. The two teams would battle it out into the 31st minute before Mikael Saekingstad would score his first of the season to tie the game at one-all. The teams looked to be taking their 1-1 deadlock to the half, before Vassart made a late run at a ball played down the far wing. The ball was at the left edge of the box, when Vassart was taken down by Southern Wesleyan keeper Miguel Uribe. Vassart was awarded a penalty kick in the final minute of the half, and stashed it home for his third goal of the year to give LMC the 2-1 lead that they would take to the half. SWU would score two goals in 2:28 in the second half to take a 3-2 lead part way through the second half. Zack Hargreaves scored at 54:25 to knot the game at two, before White would score his second of the game at 56:53 to give the Warriors the lead. White's second of the game would serve as the game-winner. The Bobcats had several good chances in the second half, but were unable to capitalize.
About the Opponents - North Greenville comes into the week with a 2-1-0 overall record including a 1-0-0 record in Conference Carolinas. Five different Crusaders have scored goals on the season, while Casey Brady leads the team with two helpers on the season. Six different Crusaders have two points apiece on the season. Noah Kendrick is the mainstay in net for NGU, allowing six goals and totaling 20 saves which is tied for third in the conference.
Chowan comes into the match with a 1-1-1 overall record including an 0-1-0 mark in Conference Carolinas.Trevin Myers leads the Hawks with two goals on the season, while four others have contributed goals on the season. Mitchell Levi Lewis leads the team with two assists, while four others have chipped in assists on the season. Myers is the team's point leader with four. Elliott Chadderton has played the majority of the minutes between the pipes for Chowan, logging the fourth-best GAA in the conference at 0.89. Chadderton has totaled a .750 save percentage and nine saves so far on the season.
Series History vs. Opponents – This will be the 15th all-time meeting between LMC and NGU, with LMC leading the all-time series 12-2. Lees-McRae shut out North Greenville 8-0 in last year's meeting.
This will be the fifth all-time meeting between LMC and Chowan, with the series being tied at two-apiece. Chowan knocked off then-No. 12 Lees-McRae 3-2 last season.