NASHVILLE. – Ryan Birchfield found the back of the net on a penalty kick for the Lipscomb men’s soccer team late in the match, but it was not enough as Lindsey Wilson netted an equalizer less than a minute later to draw the Bisons 1-1 Tuesday night in preseason play at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
“Right now, just one week into the preseason, we are a work in progress,” Lipscomb head coach Charles Morrow said. “We weren’t as sharp as we need to be in the attacking thirds, but playing against a team that presses a lot with heavy legs, I was pleased with our effort.”
Looking to make something happen late in the match, Jake Zec played a ball wide to freshman Noah Gulden who found himself 1-on-1 with a defender in the corner of the box. The Hattingen, Germany native crossed up the Blue Raider and fired a shot towards the net that deflected off of the arm of a second hard-charging defender to draw the penalty kick. Birchfield stepped up and deposited the ball in the back of the net to break open a scoreless contest in the 81st minute.
Less than 30 seconds later the lead was gone as Lindsey Wilson broke through the Bisons defense on a set piece from midfield. The ball was played towards the right post and then got headed back to a Blue Raider who rocketed a volley past the diving keeper.
Both teams had multiple attempts in the final minutes, but neither was able to put one away.
Midway through the first half of action, the Bisons seemed destined to go on top. Freshman Louis Robinson kicked a good ball from six yards away to the far post that was deflected to where three-time All-ASUN first teamer Logan Paynter was standing. The senior striker headed the rebound at the goal line, but it was right at the keeper.
Minutes later, the purple and gold stood tall on defense as Robinson was once again in on the action as he cleared a ball off the line with a last-second kick of the leg upwards.
Senior keeper Chris Zappia got the nod in frame and came away with a pair of saves. At the break, sophomore Luke Wilson replaced Zappia and finished the final 45.
The Bisons outshot the Blue Raiders 14-9, despite only getting off four attempts in the first period. Birchfield led the team with three shots, while Paynter, Robinson and Austin Strout each recorded two.
“We really appreciate the crowd that showed up tonight, especially the freshman orientation group,” Morrow said. “I hope they had a great time and we would like to see them continuing to come back the rest of the season.”
Lipscomb will get one last tuneup on Saturday when it travels to Missouri to take on Saint Louis at 7 p.m. The Bisons will then get ready to open the regular season the following Friday on August 24 when rival Belmont visits campus at 7 p.m.
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