JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – An early flurry of goals gave way to a defensive struggle in the Lipscomb men’s soccer team Sunday match-up with 22nd-ranked ETSU. Lipscomb avenged two losses to the Bucs and knocked off a ranked team for the first time in program history Sunday, defeating ETSU 2-1.
Lipscomb (2-8-2, 1-1-0 A-Sun) defeated ETSU (6-3-1, 0-2-0 A-Sun) for the first time since Oct. 10, 2008.
“Our guys were much more active today,” said head coach Charles Morrow. “Our movement in the attacking third was better and we got better looks.”
The Bisons got on the board in the 13th minute. Sophomore Nick Bibb collected his season’s third goal on a close-range shot. Bibb was led to the net by senior Garret Pettis, who grabbed a loose ball and fed it to Bibb for the goal.
ETSU answered quickly, though. In the 14th minute, Nate Hodges hooked a shot from the top left corner of the 18-yard box straight in to the right side of the net.
The game would remain tied until the 37th minute, when ETSU’s Blaike Woodruff was red carded for a handball in the box. Not only would ETSU play the remainder of the contest a man down, but Pettis put away the penalty kick for the go-ahead goal.
For Pettis, the goal was his season’s fourth. He now has 28 in his career, including seven game-winners.
Twice in the first half, ETSU’s Theo Yang put shots on net that were turned aside by Lipscomb’s Brent McGee. Yang, who scored twice against the Bisons last season, took five shots but was held scoreless.
The second half was a defensive effort. After taking 10 shots in the first period, Lipscomb attempted just four in the second, preferring to keep numbers back to counter a furious ETSU offensive push.
“Our backline really limited their offensive push,” Morrow said. “We absorbed their pressure and kept the ball in front of us.”
McGee, who made three saves in the game, was only challenged once in the second half. In the 61st minute, ETSU’s Aaron Schoenfeld put one on net that McGee stopped to quell the only real ETSU threat after halftime and hold on for his season’s second victory.
“The second half was a defensive battle,” Morrow said. “We grinded it out defensively.
“We do have to do better closing out games. We got it done today, but got a little panicked down the stretch. Still, big win for us and we’ll get better closing it out.”
Lipscomb looks to ride this wave of momentum into next weekend’s “Battle of the Boulevard” match against Belmont Sunday, Oct. 9, at 7 p.m.
Check Lipscombsports.com for more information on the Bison soccer team, and be sure to follow us on Twitter (@LUMSoccer) and like us on Facebook (Lipscomb University Men’s Soccer Team).