Photo courtesy of Gerry Wall
BANNER ELK, N.C. - The Lees-McRae College men's soccer team continues its homestand with two non-conference matches this week, hosting Newberry on Wednesday (Oct. 3) for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff and Milligan on Saturday (Oct. 6) for Homecoming Saturday at 4:15 p.m. Video and live stats will be available for both matches at www.lmcbobcats.com.
About the Bobcats - Lees-McRae (4-4-1) enters the week tied for fifth in Conference Carolinas with seven points. LMC leads the conference in goals with 21, in assists with 25 and points with 67. Pol Vassart's team-high eight goals continue to lead the conference, while Agustin Ortiz's four goals are tied for fifth in the league. Harvey McMorrow and Johannes Oeksnevad have each scored two goals, while five other Bobcats have scored once on the season. Vassart's six assist also lead the conference, while McMorrow's five are tied for second. Connor Hahn and Philip Oldin are both tied for fifth with three assists apiece, while Ortiz and Anders Stoakes each have two assists and four others have one each. Vassart's team-high 22 points also lead the conference, while Ortiz's 10 are tied for fifth in the league. McMorrow's nine points are also tied for seventh in the conference. 10 other Bobcats have registered points on the season. Anton Sundstrom has played every minute between the pipes for the Bobcats, playing to a 2.46 goals against average (GAA) and a .623 save percentage while totaling 33 saves. His GAA is 10th in the conference, while his save total is sixth.
Last Time Out - LMC defended home turf and evened its record with a 3-2 win over Mount Olive last Saturday (Sept. 29). The Trojans would score the game's first goal in the ninth minute when Trevor Berk netted his first of the season on a penalty kick. LMC would tie the game at one in the 22nd minute when Stoakes made a rush toward the box in the middle of the field, before dropping a pass to Hahn to create space. Hahn would leave the ball for Ortiz who blasted his fourth of the season into the back of the net to tie the game. Just over four minutes later, Oldin would find McMorrow in space who in turn found Vassart who scored his eighth of the season to put the Bobcats ahead 2-1. The home team would take its 2-1 lead to the half. The Bobcats would distance themselves from the Trojans in the 51st minute when McMorrow would send a corner kick into the box. It bounced through a few bodies before getting to Vassart, who kept the play alive with a header effort to center the ball. The pass found the foot of Niklas Perslow, who scored his first of the season to make it 3-1. Mount Olive would get back within one a little over five minutes later, when Santiago Zapata crossed a ball into the box from the far edge. Pedro Franca one-timed the ball into the net for his first of the season to ultimately put the match at its final score. The Bobcats would defend their own end to hang on for the win. The Bobcats out-shot Mount Olive 14-9 including 9-6 on goal. Vassart and Ortiz each fired a team-high three shots on the day, with two of theirs each finding frame. Oldin and Oeksnevad each recorded two shots in the win, while four other Bobcats each tallied shots in the contest. Sundstrom made four saves in the win. LMC also totaled four corner kicks to Mount Olive's two.
About the Opponents - Newberry comes into the week at 3-5-1 overall and 2-1-0 in the South Atlantic Conference (SAC). Newberry is tied for sixth in the SAC in goals with 13, tied for fourth in the league in assists with 10 and tied for fifth in points with 36. Daniel Reyes, Fabrizio Bucco and Ibrahim Nadir share the team lead are all tied for ninth in the league in goals with three, while four other Wolves have scored goals this season. Nadir leads the team and is tied for second in the conference in assists with three, while three Wolves each have two assists and are tied for third and one other player has also contributed one assist on the season. Nadir's nine points lead the team and are tied for fourth in the league, while Bucco and Reyes each have eight points and are tied for 10th in the conference. Brad Dixon has played the majority of the minutes in net for Newberry, owning a 2.58 GAA, a .688 save percentage and 33 total saves. Dixon's GAA is 10th in the league, while his save percentage is seventh and his save total is second in the conference. Jacob Williams has also seen significant time between the pipes for Newberry, playing to a 2.89 GAA, a .722 save percentage and 26 total saves. His save percentage is sixth in the league while his save total is fifth.
Milligan comes into the week with a 4-4-0 overall record and a 0-4-0 mark in the Appalachian Athletic Conference (AAC). The Buffaloes will take on Bluefield (Va.) on the road on Wednesday (Oct. 3) before coming to Banner Elk. Milligan is fifth in the league in goals with 19 and also fifth in assists with 13. Roberto Fernandez Garrido leads the team and is third in the conference in goals with eight, while teammate Robell Habte is tied for fourth with seven goals. Three other Buffaloes have scored goals on the season. Harry Griffin and Joel Dominguez each have three assists that lead the team and are tied for eighth in the league, while Garrido and Jordan Burch each have two assists and three other players have recorded one assist each on the season. Garrido's 18 points are a team-high and tied for fifth in the AAC, while Habte's 15 points are eighth in the league. Five other Buffaloes have recorded points on the season. Luke Dove is the main goalkeeper for the Buffaloes, owning a 2.44 GAA, a .661 save percentage and making 39 total saves. His GAA is eighth in the league, while his save total is fifth in the conference.
Series History vs. Opponents - This will be the fourth all-time meeting between LMC and Newberry, with LMC leading the all-time series 2-0 with one tie between the teams. The tie in the series came last season in a 2-2 contest.
This will be the eighth all-time meeting between LMC and Milligan, and the first since 2013. LMC leads the all-time series 5-2, and also got the last win in the series 3-2 in overtime.