HICKORY, N.C. — The Newberry College men’s soccer team gave the No. 3 regionally ranked Lenoir-Rhyne all they could handle in the regular season finale, but fell in the match 4-3.
Lenoir-Rhyne (10-2-3, 6-2-2 SAC) went on the attack from the outset, launching the first goal of the contest in the first two minutes of the game.
Joseph Linley scored off of a blocked shot into the left side of the net. The Wolves (5-8-3, 3-6-1 SAC) would get on the board as Pedro Campos took a deep shot from outside the box, sailing high into the net.
The Bears responded six minutes later with Kevin Nadeau finding an open Ignacio de Goya in the corner, who forced a shot from five yards out.
Lenoir-Rhyne would add another goal before the halftime break. In the 41st minute, Ismael Noumansana took a header off of a cross from de Goya to give the Bears a 3-1 lead going into the half.
Till Neumann would bring the Wolves within one, just a few seconds into the second half. A speeding Daniel Reyes found Neumann who took a hard strike into the corner of the goal.
Lenoir Rhyne’s Marc Fernandez gave the team a two point edge off of a free kick outside the box.
With time dwindling down, Claus Lehland saw a striking Neumann, who headed the ball to bring the Wolves back within one. Although the team recorded eight shots in the second half, they could not connect in the final minutes to seal the deal.
The Wolves were out shot by the Bears 24-15 in the contest. Newberry had a 4-3 edge in saves thanks to reigning HERO of the Week Bradley Dixon. Neumann racked up five shots in the match, with two being on frame.
“We showed a lot of desire and heart to come back from a two goal deficit,” stated head coach Bryce Cooper. “We had a lot of chances late to tie it up and go into overtime but we just ran out of time. LRU is a nationally ranked team for a reason and they were better than us in the first half, but I thought we outplayed them in the second half. While we aren’t getting into the conference tournament like we would have preferred, we are in and that’s all that matters! This is a great step forward for our program and we are excited to play in the postseason.”
Newberry embarks on the South Atlantic Conference tournament for the first time in program history. The number eight seeded Wolves will face off against Wingate, the reigning national champions on Oct. 31 at 7:30 p.m.