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LWC Men's Soccer faces familiar foe in NAIA first round

By Kyle Jackson

The No. 9-seeded Lindsey Wilson men's soccer team continues their NAIA tournament run Tuesday morning when they face No. 8-seeded Cumberlands (KY) in the first round of the NAIA Championship Tournament. Kickoff is set for 10amCT. Live video and live stats will be available for the match.

The Lindsey Wilson men's soccer team (11-3-2, 8-1-2 MSC) advanced to the first round after defeating No. 1-seed William Carey (MS) 1-0 on April 24th in the Hattiesburg Opening Round Bracket. David Ibrahimkadic scored the lone goal of the match and helped seal the victory for the Blue Raiders where they outshot the Crusaders 18-13.

For the Blue Raiders this season, senior midfielder Cyrus Harmon serves as the anchor for the team's offense, leading the team with 12 goals, 29 points, 52 total shots, and 24 shots on goal. Harmon currently averages 0.75 goals per match, which ranks fourth in the Mid-South Conference. Senior defender Neville Morgan has recorded a team and career-high eight assists this season, averaging 0.50 per game, the fourth-best in the MSC. On defense, senior goalkeeper David Coffey leads the team with 36 saves on the season, has recorded six shutouts, and currently has a goal against average of 1.02, the fourth-best in the conference. As a team the Blue Raiders have outscored their opponents 40-16 this season, averaging 2.50 goals per game and 1.81 assists per game, the third-best in each category in the Mid-South Conference.

The No. 8-seeded Cumberlands men's soccer team (13-5-2, 8-2-1 MSC) advanced to the first round after defeating No. 1-seed Indiana Tech 2-0 on April 24th in the Fort Wayne Opening Round Bracket. Freshman forward Rodrigo Riveros led the offensive charge for the Patriots in the game, scoring a goal in the victory. The Paraguayan has scored three goals in his last two matches entering the first round.

For the Patriots this season, the team's offense is led by both freshman forward Riveros and senior midfielder Sergio Infantes Castell who both combine for 20 goals in 20 games this season. Riveros currently averages 0.67 goals per game while Castell averages 0.53 goals per game. Castell also leads the team in assists alongside Joel Drewery with 10 this season and each average at least 0.50 assists per game, the 11th best in the NAIA. On defense, sophomore goalkeeper Akililu Zambataro leads the team with 53 saves on the season, has recorded seven shutouts, and currently has a goal against average of 0.70, tied for 11th best in the NAIA. As a team the Crusaders have outscored their opponents 47-13 this season, averaging 2.35 goals per game and 2.25 assists per game, the 10th best in the country. The Patriots defense also boast a goals allowed per game rate of 0.65, giving them the ninth-best defense in the NAIA.

This will be the third meeting between the two programs this season. The Blue Raiders hold a 34-2-4 all-time lead against the Patriots, tying them 0-0 in the regular season before losing the previous meeting 3-0 in the Mid-South Conference Tournament Semifinals.

This story was posted on 2021-05-03 18:38:34
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