HARROGATE, Tenn. — Senior striker Mario Pinto (Uberlandia, Brazil) led a second-half comeback with a pair of goals, as the Railsplitters stormed out of a 2-0 deficit to top the Carson-Newman Eagles, 3-2, in South Atlantic Conference men’s soccer action on Wednesday. The win improves Lincoln Memorial’s record to 5-4-1 overall and 3-2-1 in SAC play while Carson-Newman drops to 5-4 on the season and 2-3 in the league.
The Eagles seized command of the first portion of the match behind a pair of goals prior to the 50th minute of play. Jaschin Nicolai Noll scored the first of Carson-Newman’s two goals, as he received a pass from Jake Fielder that took a favorable bounce over the LMU defender and drilled a shot past Railsplitter keeper Marcel Barwanietz (Berlin, Germany) at the 24:42 mark.
Noll’s score would stand as the only goal of the first frame, however, the Eagles doubled their lead less than a minute into the second half. At the 45:42 mark, Ross Frame broke away from an LMU defender and blasted a shot into the back of the net, extending the Carson-Newman lead to 2-0.
With the game beginning to slip away from the Railsplitters, sophomore Pedro Villa (New Braunfels, Texas) swung the momentum with an unassisted goal in the 59th minute to cut the Eagle advantage in half. Villa dribbled from the right side into the top of the box where he slammed one into the lower right-hand corner of the net, notching his fourth score of the season.
Just over 20 minutes later, forward Mario Pinto went to work. Pinto exploded for the game-tying goal in the 79th minute, using a combined assist from George Burne (Carlisle, England) and Gus Rivera (Maryville) to net his seventh goal of the season. In the 81st minute, Pinto pushed his season total to eight, as he rebounded a deflected save and beat the Carson-Newman keeper to give the Railsplitters a 3-2 lead which they would not relinquish.
The Railsplitters capped the match with a 22-14 shot advantage, marked by a 12-5 cushion in the second half. Lincoln Memorial finished with 11 shots on goalwhile Carson-Newman placed four on target. The Eagles and Railsplitters tied with four corner kicks apiece.
Barwanietz picked up the win in net for the Railsplitters after making two stops and allowing two goals in 90 minutes of work. His counterpart, Rumwald Le Guevel, suffered the loss despite a spectacular eight-save effort.
Lincoln Memorial is scheduled to return to the pitch on Saturday for a South Atlantic Conference battle with Queens. The Railsplitters and Royals are set for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff at the LMU Soccer Complex.