BREVARD, N.C. — Vying for the program’s second consecutive 4-0 start, the Railsplitters (3-0) head to Brevard, North Carolina on Wednesday to open South Atlantic Conference play against the Brevard Tornados (0-4), with kickoff scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
Lincoln Memorial, the only unbeaten or untied team remaining in the SAC, retained that title by capturing a wild 3-2 victory over Lees-McRae this past Saturday.
After 55 minutes without a goal, the Railsplitters and Bobcats combined for five goals over a 24-minute span in the second half. Leonardo da Silva (Itajuba, Brazil) put LMU in front in the 56th minute, but Lees-McRae answered back in the 71st minute.
Danilo da Silva (Campinas, Brazil) pushed the Railsplitters back in front in the 75th minute before a 78th-minute, Lees-McRae goal evened the match again. Philip Wong (Hong Kong, China) tallied the game-winner and concluded the frenetic second half with his first collegiate goal in the 80th minute.
Capitalizing on scoring opportunities was a key to the Railsplitters’ success this season. Over a small three-match sample size, it appears as if they have found the answer to the problems that plagued them in 2014, when they were second in the SAC in shot attempts but ninth in goals scored and last in shot percentage.
The Railsplitters have scored six goals this season on 35 shot attempts, good for a .171 shot percentage, the second-best mark in the SAC. Lincoln Memorial is also ranked third in shots on goal percentage, as 54.3 percent of their shots have landed on target as compared to a 37.6 percent clip in 2014.
The Railsplitters are 5-1-1 all-time in South Atlantic Conference openers. Last season, Lincoln Memorial defeated Coker 2-1 in overtime to win their first SAC opener since 2011.
Leonardo da Silva leads the Railsplitters with two goals, 16 shots and nine shots on goal. George Burne (Carlisle, England) and Pedro Villa (New Braunfels, Texas) have a goal and an assist apiece. Goalkeeper Pedro Ozi (Sao Paulo, Brazil) leads the SAC in wins with three while ranking fifth in the league with a 1.01 goals against average. His three total goals against is the fourth-best mark in the conference.
The Railsplitters will be attempting to start 4-0 for the third time since 2010.
Kickoff is set for 4:30 p.m. in Brevard Live stats will be available via www.LMURailsplitters.com while updates will also be provided through the official LMU athletics Twitter account (@LMURailsplitter). Fans can join the conversation online using the hashtag #LMUMSOC.
Know the Opponent
The Tornados could not have asked for a worse start to their 2015 season as they enter SAC play and Wednesday’s meeting with the Railsplitters with an 0-4 record. Over that skid, Brevard has been outscored by a considerable 11-1 total.
The Tornados are looking to end a stretch of more than 270 minutes without a goal. After posting an 87th minute goal in their season opener against North Greenville on Sept. 3, which they lost 2-1 in overtime, the Tornados have been shut out in succession against UNC Pembroke, Southern Wesleyan and Lander.
Brevard is ranked near the bottom of the SAC in a number of key offensive statistics as the Tornados are tied for last in goals scored, last in shot percentage (.023), eighth in shots per game (10.8) and ninth in corner kicks produced (13).
Henrique Joaquim has scored the only goal for the Tornados while freshman Gabriel Garcia leads the team with nine shots and four shots on goal. Junior Winston Haddock has seven shots to his credit. Heath Turner and Jordan Alread have split time in goal. Alread has a 1.88 goals against average and three saves in two appearances. Turner has a 3.11 goals against average and nine saves in three starts
The Railsplitters have won eight of their 10 all-time meetings against Brevard with six straight wins since 2009. During that current six-match winning streak, the Railsplitters have outscored the Tornados by a commanding 20-3 margin.
Lincoln Memorial captured a 3-1 victory in Harrogate last season but mustered just a 1-0 win in Brevard in 2013. The Railsplitters have lost just once to Brevard since the two have shared South Atlantic Conference affiliation and that was way back in 2008, when the Tornados nabbed a 2-1 overtime victory.