Rollins (0-0-1) – 3
Lees-McRae (0-0-1) – 3
WINGATE, N.C. (September 1, 2017) – After falling behind Lees-McRae early the Tars stormed back to take a lead. However, Rollins surrendered a pair of late goals, forcing the game into overtime. After a full 120 minutes of action the two teams could not be separated. The draw means the Tars start the season 0-0-1, while the Bobcats will hold an identical record at 0-0-1 to begin their 2017.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
First Half: Both teams peppered the goal early, but the Bobcats struck first, Niklas Perslow heading home a Harvey McMorrow corner in the 21st minute to take a 1-0 lead. Stefan Avram equalized for the Tars. The junior entered the game in the 25th minute, and wasted no time, pulling Rollins level in the 29th. Damian Clarke gave the Tars the lead before the halftime whistle, slotting the ball in an open net after a beautiful service from Johnny Nartowicz lofted over the keeper's reach.
Second Half: Ben Grant doubled the Rollins advantage in the 51st minute. The captain headed in his own rebound, making the score 3-1. Lees-McRae would not fade, however, as Tom Deeley netted his first goal of his senior campaign in the 67th minute, bring the score to 3-2. It was Deeley who tallied again just before the final buzzer, tying the score at 3-3 and forcing the match into overtime.
Overtime: Both teams were able to create chances in the first overtime period. James Crowley had a shot on target blocked, while Avram forced the Bobcat's keeper into a pair of saves. Rollins manufactured some chance early in the second overtime. It was the Bobcats, though, that had the best chance at a winner. Deeley stepped to the spot for a penalty kick, with a chance at a hat trick, and a win, but Tars' keeper Drew Trautmann made the save, sealing the tie.
- The draw breaks a two match opening day losing streak for the Tars; however, Rollins has not secured an opening day victory since defeating Anderson 3-1 in 2014.
- Damian Clarke's 40th minute tally was his first score in the blue and gold.
- Head Coach Keith Buckley improves to 306-148-30, as he is into his 27th season at the helm of the Rollins soccer program.
The Tars have to turn around quickly, and prepare for top-ranked, and defending National Champions, Wingate. Kickoff between the Tars and the Bulldogs is scheduled for tomorrow, Saturday, September 2, at 7 p.m.
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