NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A sloppy day on the pitch behind Cofer’s Chapel made for a sloppy game all around in the Sunday afternoon men’s soccer tilt between Lipscomb University and the visiting Xavier Musketeers. Though Lipscomb had chances, it was the visitors that escaped with the 1-0 victory.
Lipscomb’s offense was unable to get any good looks against a stout Musketeer defense, mustering a mere seven shots and not putting a single shot on net.
Xavier (2-0-0) peppered the Lipscomb (0-4-0) goal early on, accumulating seven corner kicks and six shots in the opening 45 minutes. Lipscomb keeper Brent McGee made three first-half saves, robbing Xavier’s Nick Hagglund of a goal via header on two different occasions.
Lipscomb freshman Zander El-Hindi did what he could to get Lipscomb on the board early, firing one shot wide and heading another high in the opening half. He would be the only Bison to get multiple shots off against the Musketeers.
Fortunately for the Bison, Xavier was unable to get anything going in the first half, and the game went to halftime tied, 0-0.
McGee was stellar in net, stopping five of six shots on the evening. The lone goal McGee did allow was a 15-yard laser from Xavier’s Luke Spencer in the 56th minute, who fired one from the left side and deflected off a Lipscomb player and past McGee for the goal.
The game was a physical one, with Lipscomb’s Kevin Barbar and Matt Shanklin and Xavier’s Matt Walker earning cautions from the referee.
The Lipscomb defense kept the Musketeers at bay for much of the evening, earning particularly good play from junior Ben Gates and freshman Robbie Johnson.
In just their second games back following injury, sophomores Nick Bibb (56 minutes) and Kevin Barbar (32 minutes) provided quality minutes. Look for both to make a return to the starting line-up in the squad’s next few outings.
The Bison look to rebound next weekend at the Belmont Tournament. Lipscomb will face VMI, Friday, at 3:30 p.m. and returning Sunday to play Georgia Southern at 12:05 p.m. Both games will be played at Belmont’s E.S. Rose Park.