JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – In its final road match of the season, Lipscomb men’s soccer played to a double overtime scoreless draw against East Tennessee State Saturday night at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
Saturday’s match was only the second time this season Lipscomb has played extra time, drawing in both. With the tie, the Bisons record goes to 8-7-2 and 4-2-1 in Atlantic Sun play. ETSU dropped to 7-5-4 and 5-2-1 in the conference.
“The game could have gone either way,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “I felt we created enough chances to win. In a game like tonight we would have loved a victory, but a tie was a fair decision.”
Shots were scarce for the Bisons but they still managed to find good looks. Perhaps the best look of the night came in the first minute of play when Alabama native Reece Holcombe hit the crossbar on a shot from inside the box.
“We felt unfortunate in the first minute when Reece hit the crossbar on a six yard shot,” Morrow said. “It was a good start but we were just a little unlucky.”
The Lipscomb defense played tough all night as it faced 19 shots from the Bucs without allowing any to find the back of the net. It was the sixth shutout for Lipscomb this season, which is the most in a single season in school history.
“It was a great team effort all around,” Morrow said. “I applaud them. Luke (Gearin) did a good job of organizing and leading the back line tonight and helped guide his team to a shutout."
In only his freshman campaign, goalkeeper Micah Bledsoe corralled five saves in route to his school record fifth shutout. He passed Jake Goergen for the most individual shutouts in a single season in Lipscomb history.
“I thought we played great team defense,” Morrow noted. “Micah had a very good game in the net for us.
“There were some big crosses and balls played back across the net on the ground that he came out on. He did a very good job of getting to those and it may have been the difference in the game.”
In a final push for the Purple and Gold, the A-Sun’s leading goal scorer Omar Djabi was awarded a free kick from outside the box. Djabi fired the ball towards the left post but ETSU’s goalkeeper, Ryan Coulter, made a diving stop to secure his league-leading ninth shutout.
“In the end Omar broke through the midfield and was making a run at the backline and got fouled,” Morrow said. “The goalkeeper made a tremendous effort on a free kick to keep us from scoring.
“It was an unbelievable game,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “The fans and everyone on both teams was into the game the entire match. It was a well-played game by both teams.
Lipscomb had one final attempt on a corner kick in the winding seconds but came up empty.
The Bisons had five shot attempts on the night, placing two on goal.
Lipscomb currently stands fourth place in the conference. Still in reach for the Bisons heading into next week’s matchup with Mercer is a first-round bye in the conference tournament.
“The guys know what is at stake next Saturday,” Morrow said. “We will take the same approach we have had for the past three matches. Every game has been like a championship game for us because they have had an impact in seeding.
“It will be another championship game where a lot is on the line for both teams.”
The Mercer Bears will invade the Lipscomb Soccer Complex for senior night on Nov. 9. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m.