|October 01, 2014||1st||2nd||Final|
|LIP||64:44||Gearin, Luke (Djabi, Omar )|
|LIP||87:00||Kerridge, Matt (Djabi, Omar )|
|Stats at a Glance||UPST||LIP|
|Shots (on Goal)||7 (2)||24 (9)|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After getting behind early in the first half the Lipscomb men’s soccer team dug deep and found scores late in the match to survive their Atlantic Sun Conference opener against USC Upstate 2-1 Wednesday night at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
The win improves Lipscomb’s record to 7-2 overall. It also marks the first time since 2006 the Bisons have started 1-0 in league play.
“Winning the first conference game is huge,” Lipscomb coach Charles Morrow said. “It’s a credit to the guys after going down early to not play outside themselves and finding a way to win in the end.
“I could not be more proud of the fight and resiliency they showed tonight. It was an awesome way to get league play started.”
Upstate has now dropped three straight matches and falls to 2-6-1 overall and 0-1 in the A-Sun.
The Bisons were whistled for a foul in the box at the 13:04 mark to hand Upstate a 1-0 lead on a Marvin Schmiege penalty kick.
The Spartans continued to put pressure on Lipscomb and consistently found open running room behind the backline. But fortunately, the Bisons held strong and came up with stops time and time again.
“We have to give credit to Upstate,” Morrow said. “They had a game plan and stuck to it. It is so hard to play against a team that wants to just continue to counter attack.
“But it was a good lesson for us defensively and we will learn from this game as we head into the rest of conference play.”
Midway through the first half the momentum finally started to swing in the home team’s favor as Lipscomb fired nine shots in the final 28 minutes compared to just one for Upstate, but failed to convert.
The Bisons continued their pressure in the second half and kept the Upstate defense on its heels for much of the second period.
After misfiring on its first 15 shots Lipscomb finally broke through and found an equalizer in the 65th minute when senior Omar Djabi played a perfect ball from 30 yards out to Luke Gearin in the box for the header score.
“Omar played a great game,” Morrow said. “Last season he was a guy we depended on to score for us. But the way he is playing this season may be more of a true role for him.
“But Omar is a guy that could care less if he scores another goal this season as long as we are winning. Our guys are an unselfish group and that is what makes this team so special.”
With the clock ticking down Djabi came through again, this time serving up Matt Kerridge for the game-winner with just three minutes to play.
Kerridge took the ball and got behind the backline and struck the ball past the diving Upstate keeper just inside the right post.
Freshman Nate Davis improved to 5-0 in the net for the Bisons after collecting one save in the victory.
Hassan Haddad took the loss for Upstate. He came up with seven saves and dropped to 1-2-1.
- Lipscomb improves to 6-3 over Upstate and has now won back-to-back meetings in the series for the first time since wining three straight from 2008-10.
- Gearin moves into the A-Sun lead in goals with six for his senior campaign.
- Kerridge takes his career goal total to five – all have come this season.
- Djabi has five assists on the year to tie Ivan Alvarado for the team and conference lead. He had three all of 2013.
- Djabi led the team with six shot attempts and three shots on goal.
- Freshman reserve Jonathan Ramirez fired five shots, while Anthony Cedano and Josue Chavez each had four.
- The Bisons outshot Upstate 24-7, including a 15-3 advantage in the second half.
- Lipscomb also held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
- Upstate’s Lukas Sommer was handed the lone yellow card in the match in the 46th minute.
Lipscomb must now travel north to face Northern Kentucky Saturday Oct. 4 at 6 p.m.
“We are anxious for Saturday,” Morrow said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us as we prepare for Northern Kentucky to develop a good game plan.”