Following nearly a month absence from the regional rankings, the Lincoln Memorial University men’s soccer team is ranked ninth in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Division II Men’s Southeast Region poll, released on Tuesday afternoon.
The Railsplitters have won four of their last five games to move to 8-3-1 overall this season, notching the ninth position in the seventh NSCAA Region poll. Lincoln Memorial is bolstered by the most potent offense in the South Atlantic Conference, as they currently lead the league in goals with 36, goals per game with 3.0, and shot percentage at .147 while ranking second in the SAC in shots with 245 and second in shots per game with 20.4.
The ‘Splitters are led by one of the most prolific scorers in the country this season, as Mario Pinto ranks among the nations’ best in three offensive categories. He sits in third in the nation in goals per game at 1.25, fourth in total goals with 15 and fourth in points per game with 2.67.
LMU has also benefited this season from the addition of Diego Deschamp, who ranks fourth in the conference with seven goals this season. Lander University holds the top-spot in the NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Men’s Southeast Region poll, as they currently sit at 10-1-1 this season. The South Atlantic Conference is a strong presence in the rankings, as Mars Hill (11-2-0) sits in third while Wingate (8-3-0) ranks fifth.
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After recording two-consecutive hat tricks, Mario Pinto has been tabbed as the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week for the week concluding on October 14th, league officials announced Tuesday afternoon.
Pinto (Uberlandia, Brazil) tallied two-straight hat tricks this past week, leading the Railsplitters to a pair of dominating victories over league foes. Mario opened the week with a three-goal performance in a 5-0 triumph over Tusculum College, notching scores in the 27th, 46th and 66th minutes.
The junior forward continued to wreak havoc on Saturday with his second hat trick of the week, tallying goals in the 39th, 46th and 54th minute en route to a 5-1 victory over Brevard College.
Pinto is in the midst of a prolific scoring tear for Lincoln Memorial, as he has recorded ten goals in his last five games to extend his league-leading total to 15. He currently leads the South Atlantic Conference in points (32), shots on goals (33) and game-winning goals (4), while ranking second in the league in shots with 56.
On the national scene, Pinto ranks fourth in the country in points per game (2.67), fourth in total goals (15) and third in goals per game (1.25). He has also moved into the top-ten historically at Lincoln Memorial with 25 goals for his career, ranking him tenth in the career record books.
The Railsplitters and Mario Pinto will be back in action Saturday, as they travel to Catawba College for a South Atlantic Conference battle against the Indians. That match is slated to tip at 7:30 p.m.