Published: August 30, 2016
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The opening weekend of 2016 for the Lipscomb men’s soccer team ended on a high note as the Bisons finished off Western Illinois 3-0 Sunday at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
On a blazing afternoon in the Music City, sophomore striker Logan Paynter torched the Leathernecks all game long. He scored a goal in each half to give the Bisons all the offense they needed before Kyle Smith added his own insurance tally with time winding down.
After shutting out Florida Atlantic on Friday in the opening game of the Lipscomb/Belmont Challenge the Lipscomb defense was up to the task of another superb performance.
Western Illinois found itself overmatched with a stingy unit that allowed only one shot attempt and two corner kicks the entire 90 minutes.
“This was a great weekend,” Paynter said. “I couldn’t think of a better way to get it started than two 3-0 wins.
“To get two shutouts has been huge for us,” Paynter said. “Our defense is what we want to focus on. They came up big today. We have a lot to look forward to. This is just the beginning.”
The win improves Lipscomb to 2-0 on the season while WIU falls to 0-1-1.
10’- LIPSCOMB: Paynter put Lipscomb on top early after burying a header inside the far post from just outside the 6-yard box. He finished off a cross that freshman defender Brandon Santel launched from deep in the right corner.
53’ – LIPSCOMB: Paynter capped off a multi-goal effort after finding the net off a set piece early in the second half. Freshman Austin Eager connected on a free kick from just in front of the home bench, sending it to the preseason all-conference selection at the top of the box. Paynter settled the ball off his chest and rocketed it over the keepers reach and under the cross bar to push the lead to 2-0.
89’ – LIPSCOMB: Junior Kyle Smith put the exclamation point on the match when he slotted his first goal of the season past the goalkeeper. Junior Anthony Bellini got the play started as he played a ball to junior transfer Ivan Sakou at the top of the box who then spun between three Leatherneck defenders and kicked it to a wide-open Smith 10 yards out.
Lipscomb starts the season 2-0 for the third time in the last four seasons.
Paynter notched the second multi-goal game of his career. He scored twice in a 2-2 draw with Georgia Southern in 2015.
Santel and Eager recorded their first career points after each picked up an assist on the two scores.
Bellini picked up his first point of the season with an assist on Smith’s goal.
Lipscomb outshot Western Illinois 13-1, including a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks.
Senior keeper Micah Bledsoe earned his second shutout of the season and the 12th of his career.
Seven Bisons have been credited with an assist this season.
Paynter leads the team with seven points on the year, followed by Sakou with three.
WHAT HEAD COACH CHARLES MORROW SAID:
“I am just really proud of the way our guys played today, not just in terms of the result, but the way they did it. On a quick turnaround from Friday to Sunday, I thought they managed the game well.
“We were excited to see our guys settle the game and sort of impose their will against a Western Illinois team that was tactically over their head today.
“The first goal was really important and crucial. Once we were able to get that one in, our guys did an outstanding job of wearing them down and taking any fire they had away from them.”
Lipscomb returns to the pitch Friday, September 2nd when it travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia State in a 6:30 p.m. tilt.
“We are looking forward to this upcoming week as we have an in-region game with Georgia State,” Morrow said. “Now we have to get back and it and prepare for them.”