CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Forward Mario Pinto moved into a tie for the national lead in goals with yet another hat trick on Tuesday evening, as he led the Lincoln Memorial University men’s soccer team to a 4-2 victory over Queens University in nonconfernce soccer action. With the victory, the Railsplitters improve to 10-3-1 on the season, highlighted by a 6-1 mark over their last seven games. The loss sends the Royals to 6-10 on the year.
The Railsplitters found themselves facing an early deficit in the match, as Kevin Anderson collected a deflection and tallied an unassisted goal at the 18:41 mark to give Queens a 1-0 lead.
Lincoln Memorial answered that goal with a score by Chris Nash at the 35:56 mark of the contest. Nash used a dish into the box by Pinto and fired the ball into the net from the front of the goal. With Nash’s sixth goal of the season, the Railsplitters knotted the game at 1-1 as the contest headed into the break.
Coming out of the break, Pinto took over the match with a flurry of goals to lead the Railsplitters to victory. He struck first in the 60th minute, using a dish from Leonardo Germniani on a throw in. Pinto did the rest en route to giving LMU a 2-1 lead. Pinto quickly added to that margin, tallying a goal at the 64:52 mark on an unassisted score as he beat the keeper to press the score to 3-1 in LMU’s corner.
Pinto capped his hat trick with another unassisted score in the 85th minute. He rounded up the ball inside the box, fired a shot and beat the Queens keeper to make it a 4-1 game. With three goals in the match, he moves into a tie for the national lead in goals with 20 on the season and is five goals away from tying the LMU single-season record.
The Royals got their second goal of the match in the 89th minute with a score from Erick Suarez, but their comeback effort fell short as the Railsplitters held on for a 4-2 victory on the road.
Lincoln Memorial won the battle offensively, recording 18 shots while limiting the Royals to 11 shots with only four coming on target. Pinto led that figure for LMU with seven shots and five shots on goal. Callum Home also racked up three attempts in the match. LMU fired four corner kicks in the affair with Queens tallying two.
Marcel Barwanietz played the entire match in goal for the Railsplitters, notching two saves in 90 minutes of action. On the other side, John Rush and Matthew Cavallo split duties in the goal as they combined for four saves and four goals allowed in 90 minutes.
The Railsplitters cap the regular season Saturday at Newberry College in a South Atlantic Conference battle with postseason seeding on the line. That match is slated to start at 4:30 p.m.