Pioneers back to action with two matches this week on road

Pioneers back to action with two matches this week on road

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- The Tusculum University men's soccer team ramps up its schedule with a pair of matches this week, including their conference opener on Saturday at Lenoir-Rhyne.

The Pioneers are off to an 0-2 start, and are coming off a 5-0 loss at Young Harris in their only action of the week last Wednesday night. Tusculum will visit King on Wednesday afternoon for a non-conference match at 4:30 p.m., then will play their league opener in Hickory, North Carolina against Lenoir-Rhyne on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Young Harris went up 2-0 after 10 minutes, led 3-0 at halftime and finished off a 5-0 victory over Tusculum on Wednesday. The fourth-ranked Mountain Lions had a 19-10 edge in shots over the Pioneers, who had six shots on goal but could not beat Young Harris keeper Alex Iglesias. Sam Gilbert made his first start of the season and had three saves before being sent off in the 36th minute, and Alejandro Quiriti had five saves in relief.

King is 0-3 coming into Wednesday match, though all three of their losses have been by one goal and two in overtime. The Tornado lost 1-0 to Concord in their season opener on Sept. 5, then fell 1-0 in overtime at home to USC Aiken on Sept. 7. Last Wednesday, the Tornado traveled to Mars Hill and scored their first goal of the season to tie the game in the 73rd minute, only to see the host Lions win in the fifth minute of overtime by a 2-1 score. King and Emmanuel opened their Conference Carolinas schedule on Saturday in Bristol, but the match was abandoned in the 30th minute due to lightning and will not be made up.

Callum Davidson has scored the lone goal of the year for the Tornado, while Dalton Gammon has played every minute in goal and has recorded 13 saves and a 1.29 goals against average. King has been outshot 42-29 in its three matches, with Zubair Taylor leading all players with five shots for King. Tusculum beat King 3-0 at home last season and is 18-8-3 all-time, with a streak of 10 straight without a loss (7-0-3) since 2001.

Lenoir-Rhyne begins the week at 2-2, but is coming off a 1-0 victory in overtime against defending national champion Barry on Saturday. Eric Miller scored his first collegiate goal in the 98th minute to give the Bears the win over the ninth-ranked Buccaneers. Lenoir-Rhyne outshot Barry 17-3 in the match and Alexander Langer recorded his second shutout of the season in goal for the Bears. It was the second match of the year for the Bears against a nationally-ranked opponent, following a 3-0 loss to Limestone in the season opener on Sept. 5. Lenoir-Rhyne defeated Lees-McRae 4-0 on Sept. 8 and lost 3-0 to Nova Southeastern last Thursday, all at home. The Bears host Mars Hill on Wednesday in their SAC opener before welcoming Tusculum on Saturday.

Five different players have accounted for the five goals scored by the Bears this season, with Luca Koelsch leading the team with a pair of assists to go along with the winning goal in the victory over Limestone. Langer has made 13 saves and has a 1.47 goals against average for Lenoir-Rhyne in goal. Tusculum beat Lenoir-Rhyne 2-1 in overtime last October on a goal by Shawn Foster, and the Pioneers lead the series with the Bears 18-10-3.

Nikola Vujicic is the lone Pioneer with a goal this season, which he scored in a season-opening 2-1 loss to Emmanuel. Roy Deutekom leads Tusculum with six shot attempts, and Henrique Devens has placed a team-high four shots on target in four attempts.

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