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18th-ranked Pioneers move to 7-0 with 1-0 win at Anderson

18th-ranked Pioneers move to 7-0 with 1-0 win at Anderson

ANDERSON, S.C. --- Andre De Giorgi scored the winning goal with 4:58 left in the second half as 18th-ranked Tusculum College remained unbeaten with a 1-0 victory at Anderson University Saturday afternoon in South Atlantic Conference men's soccer action.

De Giorgi scored his team-best sixth goal of the season as the Pioneers (7-0-0, 4-0-0 SAC) continue their best start since opening the 2004 season with nine straight victories. Tusculum has also won its first four SAC matches of the year for the first time since 2011.

Tusculum outshot Anderson by a 16-9 margin, but the match was scoreless until the Pioneers had a free-kick opportunity with just over five minutes to play. On the restart, the ball came to Dallas Dunn who crossed a pass to De Giorgi for what turned out to be the only goal of the afternoon.

Jorge Alvarez finished with four saves in goal for the Pioneers to earn his third shutout of the season, all coming in the last four matches. Alvarez has yielded just one goal in four SAC matches to help Tusculum remain perfect in conference action.

The Pioneers had the first four shots of the match before the Trojans got their first attempt in the 13th minute. De Giorgi was particularly active for the Pioneers, with five shots in the opening half. Tusculum had a 10-5 edge in shots in the first half, with Devon Ashy making three saves for Anderson and Alvarez two for the Pioneers.

In the second half, the Pioneer defense held the Trojans without a shot for the first 25 minutes as the teams combined for one shot on goal in nearly 35 minutes of game action. Finally, the Pioneers grabbed the lead on the goal by De Giorgi with just under five minutes to go, and Alvarez defended a late attempt in the box by the Trojans to preserve the 1-0 win.

Ashy finished the match with five saves for the Trojans, who had a 5-3 edge in corner kicks in the match. Tusculum was called for 14 fouls to eight by Anderson, which was shown the only caution with 1:20 remaining in the match.

Tusculum will prepare for its biggest match of the season to date as they host defending NCAA Division II national champion Pfeiffer in a battle of ranked teams next Wednesday, Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. at Pioneer Field. Pfeiffer is ranked seventh in the latest NSCAA Division II poll and had a 28-match winning streak ended earlier this month.

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