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Two late goals boost Pioneers to 2-2 tie with Lenoir-Rhyne

Two late goals boost Pioneers to 2-2 tie with Lenoir-Rhyne

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. --- Tusculum College erased a two-goal deficit by scoring twice in the final 12 minutes to earn a 2-2 draw with Lenoir-Rhyne University in a South Atlantic Conference women's soccer match at Pioneer Field Saturday afternoon.

Rachel Roberts scored the tying goal with 54.5 seconds left in regulation as the Pioneers (3-2-2, 1-0-1 SAC) came back after giving up two goals early in the second half to the Bears (3-1-2, 0-0-1 SAC), who had nine wins and a tie in the last 10 meetings with the Pioneers dating to 2008.

Katja Andersson started Tusculum on the comeback trail as she collected a blocked Cheyenne Upton shot and beat Lenoir-Rhyne keeper Andrea Leano with 12:04 left to cut the margin to 2-1.

Roberts, who came on in the 82nd minute, found herself on the receiving end of a long pass from Olivia Kilgore, and eluded Leano before depositing her first goal of the season with just under a minute remaining to level the contest at 2-2.

Neither team had a serious threat in the first overtime period, but the Pioneers were presented a golden opportunity to win the game just 11 seconds into the second overtime.

Payton DeHart was taken down by Leano in the box, and Kelli McCalla was tapped to take the penalty kick. However, her shot to the short side was batted away by Leano to keep the score tied.

Tusculum had another strong scoring chance off the ensuing corner kick, but Andersson's shot from the top of the box was deflected by Leano over the crossbar. Lenoir-Rhyne's best chance came with 5:45 left in overtime as a cross to Kendall Smith was directed just wide of the post.

Lenoir-Rhyne had the control of play in the first half, outshooting Tusculum 7-2 in the half while taking all five corner kicks. The Bears grabbed the 1-0 lead at 57:11 as a long pass from Jessica Feronti came to Sarah Pullman, who eluded Pioneer keeper Miriah Martin and netted the opening goal.

Just over 14 minutes later, Lenoir-Rhyne's lead expanded to 2-0 as a shot by Smith was stopped by Martin, but Abigael McGarel was in front to put home the rebound at 71:16. However, Andersson's goal just over 6 1/2 minutes later cut the lead in half and set up the frantic finish to regulation.

Both teams finished with 14 shot attempts in the match, with Lenoir-Rhyne having a 7-6 edge in shots on goal. The Bears took 10 corner kicks to five for the Pioneers, including five in overtime, and were called for 11 fouls to nine by Tusculum.

Martin finished with five saves in goal for the Pioneers, while Leano had four stops for the Bears including two in overtime.

Tusculum will play its next two games on the road, starting Wednesday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Lincoln Memorial.

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