HICKORY, N.C. --- A goal by Henrique Devens early in the second half lifted Tusculum University into a 1-1 draw with Lenoir-Rhyne University in South Atlantic Conference men's soccer action Saturday afternoon at the Moretz Complex.
Devens' goal in the 60th minute enabled the Pioneers (0-3-1, 0-0-1 SAC) to earn the tie with the Bears (3-2-1, 1-0-1 SAC) despite being outshot by a 23-7 margin. Jamie De Manuel scored in the 35th minute for Lenoir-Rhyne, which is unbeaten in its last three matches with two wins and a draw.
The Bears had the first five shot attempts of the match, but were able to put just one on target which was saved by Pioneer keeper Sam Gilbert off Giovanni Da Costa in the 2nd minute. Tusculum's first shot attempt was in the 28th minute from Clement Dagorn which was stopped by LR keeper Alexander Langer.
Lenoir-Rhyne went up 1-0 at 34:09 as De Manuel scored his first goal of the season off an assist by Andres Ruiz. The Bears carried the 1-0 lead to intermission after outshooting the Pioneers 10-4 in the first half, though only 3-2 on shots that were on target.
In the second half, the Bears again had the first five shot attempts but were only able to put two on goal. The Pioneers' first shot of the second half tied the game, as Devens beat Langer at 59:45 for his second goal of the season and a 1-1 deadlock.
Gilbert helped preserve the tie by making a save on a header by the Bears' Javier Madrono off a corner kick in the 76th minute, and the teams played the final 15 minutes with no serious scoring chances on either side.
In the first overtime, neither team was credited with a shot attempt but that changed early in the second overtime as Tusculum's Luke Murphy took a blast from 15 yards that was blocked by the defense. Madrono directed a header off a free kick wide with just under two minutes left in the second extra period, and Tusculum's Sander Johansen nearly lucked his way into the game-winner as a clear attempt by Langer caromed off the Pioneer forward and bounced over the end line.
Lenoir-Rhyne had two final chances for the golden goal in the final seconds of the match, but shots from inside the box by Diego Delgado and Carles Montollu Lobo were blocked by the Tusculum defense as time ran out.
Gilbert finished with five saves for the Pioneers while Langer had three stops for the Bears, with neither keeper recording a save in the overtime periods. Tusculum had a 5-4 edge in corner kicks over Lenoir-Rhyne and were called for 11 fouls to five by the Bears.
Tusculum will play its regular-season home opener on Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. against Lees-McRae at Pioneer Field.