BRISTOL, Tenn. – Monday was a historic day for the King University men's soccer team, hosting their first Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Championship game when the fourth-seeded Tornado squared off with fifth-seeded Lees-McRae College in the quarterfinals. The Tornado fell behind, but came back behind three goals from Ben Delisle in the second half, winning their first Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Championship game, 3-1 to advance to the semifinals.
FINAL SCORE: No. 4 King 3, No. 5 Lees-McRae 1
LOCATION: Parks Field; Bristol, Tenn.
RECORDS: King 7-8-1; Lees-McRae 8-7-2
HOW IT HAPPENED
- King nearly started the contest with a bang as Carlos Saavedra got behind the defense and ripped a shot off the crossbar 30 seconds in.
- However, Lees-McRae turned the field for the majority of the first half, outshooting King 8-4.
- The Bobcats nearly broke through in the 29th minute when Johannes Oeksnevad hit the post, resulting in a corner kick.
- On the ensuing corner, Harvey McMorrow found Oeksnevad in front of the net, and he directed the ball into the net, giving Lees-McRae the 1-0 lead.
- Saavedra had another chance in the 31st minute, but his shot was turned away as the Bobcats maintained the 1-0 lead at the break.
- The Tornado tried to turn the field early in the second half and eventually evening the tally in the 64th minute.
- Saavedra carried the ball down the end line and found Delisle six yards out from the left post who directed the ball past the Bobcat keeper.
- King didn't let up, four more shots over the next 10 minutes, but none found the back of the net.
- The Tornado pressure paid off again in the 82nd minute when Saavedra tried to run down a ball as the keeper came out of the goal to clear a ball at the 18-yard box.
- The clear deflected off Saavedra and found Delisle's foot and he slid his shot from 25 yards out into the empty net, giving King the lead.
- Delisle put the game away with another goal four minutes later when Andrew Rhoda found Delisle inside the box and he ripped a shot from the right side under the crossbar.
- King fought off one more corner kick from Lees-McRae before the horn sounded, giving King the 3-1 victory.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- King outshot Lees-McRae 15-11, including 11-3 in the second half.
- The Tornado also had more corner kicks, 4-3 and shots on goal 8-2.
- Dalton Gammon made one save for the Tornado.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE
- The hat trick for Delisle is the first for the Tornado since 2016 when Freek Schoones scored three goals in an 8-1 win over North Greenville University.
- The win marks the first for King in a Conference Carolinas Men's Soccer Championship, the Tornado were previously 0-4-1 in Conference Carolinas Tournament contests.
- The Tornado advance to the semifinals which will be played on Thursday. The Tornado will face either top seed Limestone College or eighth seed University of Mount Olive who play on Monday evening.
- The semifinals and finals will be at the highest remaining seed following Monday night's contest and be played on Thursday and Saturday.