MONTEVALLO, Ala. — Pedro Villa (New Braunfels, Texas) scored the go-ahead goal and later assisted on what proved to be an important insurance goal to help the Railsplitters (2-0) secure a 2-1 victory over Montevallo (1-1) in NCAA Division II men’s soccer action on Sunday in Montevallo, Alabama
Lincoln Memorial starts its season 2-0 for the second consecutive year while defeating the Falcons – their old Gulf South Conference rival – for the fifth time in the last six meetings, a stretch that dates back to the 2005 campaign.
With less than seven minutes left in the first half, Villa broke a scoreless tie with his first goal of the season and the 11th of his career to give the Railsplitters a 1-0 advantage. Though Villa’s score was not directly attributed to Hisham Abdelaziz’s (Metairie, Louisiana.) corner kick, it came just 23 seconds after the corner and the resulting frenzy in front of the net.
Lincoln Memorial’s 1-0 advantage held up into the break and well into the second half.
The second half was somewhat frustrating and wildly productive all at once for striker Leonardo da Silva (Itajuba, Brazil), a 2014 All-Region performer who led the Railsplitters in goals last season. Da Silva ripped off five shots on goal in the half with four coming in a less than six-minute stretch without seeing one break across the goal line. In the 72nd minute, his sixth shot on goal of the match, set up by Villa, got by Montevallo keeper Yannic Horn to increase LMU’s lead to 2-0. It was his first goal of the season and the 12th of his career in the Blue and Gray.
That goal proved vital, too, as Sergio Gonzalez put the Falcons on the board with a header less than four minutes later to trim the Railsplitters’ lead to 2-1. Gonzalez’s goal would be it for Montevallo offensively, though.
Lincoln Memorial finished with a 10-5 edge in shot attempts and a 9-3 advantage in shots on goal. Da Silva outproduced the Falcons by himself with seven shots and six shots on goal. The Railsplitters earned four corners while Montevallo was limited to two.
LMU goalkeeper Pedro Ozi (Sao Paulo, Brazil) made two saves over 90 minutes of action to improve to 2-0 on the season. Montevallo’s Horn, who ranked 15th in the nation last season in save percentage, took the loss despite saving seven of the nine shots on goal he faced.
Next on the docket, the Railsplitters face the Lees-McRae Bobcats in Banner Elk, North Carolina at 3 p.m. on Saturday.