Early goals result in 1-1 draw at Mars Hill

Early goals result in 1-1 draw at Mars Hill

MARS HILL, N.C. --- Tusculum answered an early goal from Mars Hill midway through the first half, and the teams went on to play a 1-1 draw in South Atlantic Conference men's soccer action Friday night at Meares Stadium.

Jonny Winter netted a goal in the 24th minute for the Pioneers (1-6-5, 1-3-3 SAC) after Jordan Lennon scored in the seventh minute for the Lions (4-5-2, 3-2-2 SAC). Tusculum finished the match with a 23-18 advantage in shots over Mars Hill, including 7-3 in overtime.

Each team put a shot on goal in the fifth minute, with the Pioneers' Pau Peiro denied by Lion keeper Ben Lucas and Mars Hill's Stian Sanner stopped by Tusculum goalie Ivan Šafranić. Lennon put the Lions on top 1-0 at 6:49 as he took a breakaway pass from Sanner and buried his third goal of the season.

Lennon came up empty on a bid for a second goal at the 19th minute, while Tusculum's Connor Green was saved by Lucas in the 20th minute. The Pioneers got the equalizer at 23:21 as Shawn Foster worked a give and go with Winter, who connected on a low shot for his second goal of the season.

Sanner almost gave Mars Hill the lead back just 90 seconds later, but his shot hit the crossbar. The Pioneers had a 9-6 edge in shots in the first half, while both teams put three shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes.

Both teams continued to pepper the other goal with shots, with Mars Hill's Lucas saving a shot from Clement Dagorn in the 53rd minute. Tusculum's Safranic made saves on Derek Kaple in the 60th minute and Sam Roe in the 70th minute to keep the score knotted at 1-1.

Sanner had the last chance of regulation, but his shot with 33 seconds left was saved by Safranic as Tusculum went to overtime for the sixth time in 12 matches this season.

Neither team had a shot on goal in the first overtime, while Tusculum's Peiro was stopped by Lucas with 3:48 left in the second overtime and Roe was denied by Safranic with 13 seconds left in the match.

Tusculum finished with a 4-2 edge in corner kicks, with two coming in the second overtime, while the Pioneers were whistled for 23 fouls to 17 by the Lions and were shown two of the three yellow cards in the match.

Safranic made seven saves for the Pioneers, while Lucas was credited with five saves for the Lions. Safranic lowered his goals against average to 0.90 for the season and raised his save percentage to .818 with his performance against Mars Hill.

The Pioneers will host 21st-ranked Carson-Newman in their next home match on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Pioneer Field.