BREVARD, N.C. — Leonardo da Silva (Itajuba, Brazil) scored with 36 seconds remaining in regulation to lift the Railsplitters (4-0, 1-0 SAC) to a thrilling 1-0 win over the Brevard Tornados (0-5, 0-1 SAC) in the South Atlantic Conference men’s soccer opener on Wednesday evening in Brevard, North Carolina. With the win, Lincoln Memorial begins its season with a 4-0 record for the second consecutive year and the third time since 2010.
After more than 89 minutes without a goal and with the match seemingly destined for overtime, da Silva collected a blocked cross and netted the game-winning score with just 36 ticks left on the clock, stunning the Tornados, who were looking for their first win of the season as well as their first triumph over Lincoln Memorial since 2008.
That was the exclamation point on an outstanding performance by da Silva, as he more than doubled up the Tornados’ shot and shot on goal totals all by his lonesome. He led all players with seven shots and four shots on goal while Brevard ended the contest with just three shots and a single shot on goal. As a team, the Railsplitters finished with 17 shots and five shots on target.
Henrique Rezek (Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil), George Burne (Carlisle, England), Nick Spielman (Melbourne, Florida) and Danilo da Silva (Campinas, Brazil) contributed two shots apiece.
The Railsplitters improved to 9-2 all-time against Brevard while moving to 6-1-1 in South Atlantic Conference openers since 2007, their first official season as SAC members.
Lincoln Memorial netminder Pedro Ozi (Sao Paulo, Brazil) faced only one significant challenge in posting his second shutout of the season, stopping Gabriel Garcia’s shot on goal in the 60th minute. Brevard submitted just two more shot attempts in the match while their goalkeeper, Heath Turner, made four saves and faced a steady stream of shots in the loss.
The Tornados produced an 8-4 corner kick advantage, but they were also whistled for 18 fouls. The Railsplitters received a pair of yellow cards and 12 fouls in the match.
The Railsplitters will aim to start 5-0 for the first time since 2005 when they make their LMU Soccer Complex debut on Saturday against Queens. Kickoff in that SAC battle is slated for 3:30 p.m.
LMU Lady Railsplitters defeat Brevard, 1-0
Freshman striker Claire Leasure (Franklin, Tennessee) poured in the second game-winning goal of her young career to lead the Lady Railsplitters (2-1-1, 1-0 SAC) to a 1-0 win over the Brevard Tornados (1-2-1, 0-1 SAC) in the South Atlantic Conference women’s soccer opener on Wednesday afternoon in Brevard.
Leasure’s unassisted goal in the 49th minute ended a scoreless span of more than 225 minutes for Lincoln Memorial, a stretch that dates back to Leasure’s first career goal and game winner in a double overtime win over West Alabama in the season opener. It also helped the Lady Railsplitters to avoid being shut out in three straight matches for the first time since 2012.
The Lady Railsplitters moved to 9-0 all-time against Brevard with the victory and shut out the Tornados for the fourth consecutive time. It was their sixth total shutout in the nine-game series.
Lincoln Memorial outshot the Tornados 7-3 in the first half and 9-2 in the second stanza, but the quality of shot attempt was quite different from half to half. Brevard accounted for the only two shots on goal in the opening half, forcing goalkeeper Kathryn Lundy (Pinckney, Michigan) into action in the 16th and 27th minutes. The Lady Railsplitters flipped the script over the last 45 minutes, though, tallying a 6-1 edge on shots on goal.
Michelle Hunter (Tecumseh, Ontario, Canada) led all players with four shots, one of which landed on target. It was the first time in Hunter’s career that she did not score against the Tornados, though, as she scored twice in Brevard in 2013 and once in last season’s meeting. Leasure had three shot attempts, while three other LMU players finished the match with two shots.
After not being able to muster a corner kick against Lee on Sunday, the Lady Railsplitters produced seven corners against the Tornados, who finished with just three.
Lundy posted her second shutout of the season, which is currently tied for the SAC lead, while making three saves over 90 minutes of work. Brevard’s keeper, Jocelyn Springer, made five saves and allowed a single goal over that same span.
The Lady Railsplitters improved to 5-4 in South Atlantic Conference openers with the win.
Next on tap, Lincoln Memorial finally makes its home debut by entertaining the Queens Royals in SAC action at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Live stats and video will be available for that match via www.LMURailsplitters.com.