HARROGATE, Tenn. — Mario Pinto continued to wreak havoc in the South Atlantic Conference with a hat trick, as the Railsplitters routed the Tusculum College Pioneers 5-0 in men’s soccer action Wednesday afternoon.
The 5-0 triumph propels Lincoln Memorial University to 3-3 in South Atlantic Conference play and 7-3-1 overall, while the Pioneers drop to 2-3-1 in league play and 5-6-2 on the season.
Mario Pinto (Uberlandia, Brazil) tallied goals in the 27th, 46th and 66th minute of the match to bring his total to 12 on the season. The junior forward has notched seven goals in the last four matches to take a commanding lead in the conference goals scored race.
Pinto struck first for the Railsplitters at the 27:34 mark, using a quick pass from Diego Deschamp (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) to give LMU a 1-0 lead. The ‘Splitters added another goal in the 35th minute, this time off of the foot of Yuri Passos (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Passos tallied his first score of the season off of a free kick from nearly forty yards out to extend the lead to 2-0.
After the break, Pinto quickly pushed the lead to 3-0 with his second goal of the game. Pinto used a beautiful dish from Fabio Fukumoto (Indaiatuba, Brazil) to find the net.
The Railsplitters put the game to bed with a goal from Mackenzie Wilde (Toronto, Ontario) in the 58th minute and another goal from Pinto in the 66th minute. Both goals came off of deflections from the Tusculum keeper as the Railsplitters capped the match with a dominating 5-0 victory.
LMU tallied 17 shots in the victory and 13 shots on goal while limiting Tusculum to only six shots and two attempts at goal. Marcel Barwanietz (Berlin, Germany) and Brady Seehorn (Dalton, Ga.) combined for 90 minutes in goal with Barwanietz recording two saves in the contest. Andy Goellner played all 90 minutes for the Pioneers, making seven stops in the losing effort.
The ‘Splitters host their final home regular-season contest of the 2012 campaign Saturday, as they welcome SAC foe Brevard College to the LMU Soccer Complex. That match is slated for a 3:30 p.m. start.