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Luis Hernandez
Luis Hernandez scored the only goal of the contest.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Downs Catawba

Lenoir-Rhyne men’s soccer scored three second half goals and secured a home game in the SAC Tournament with a 3-1 win over Catawba on senior night in the regular season finale. Carles Montoliu Lobo and Luis Hernandez scored on their senior night, and Harri Rowe added the final tally for LR.

The two teams played to a scoreless tie in the first half, with the Bears holding a narrow edge in shots 6-5. Catawba goalkeeper Zak Stiffler stopped all five shots on goal for LR in the first half.

The Bears broke through in the 60th minute. Harri Rowe scored his third goal of the season on a snipe from outside the box to beat Stiffler on the far post for the game’s first tally. It was Rowe’s third goal of the season, all of which have come at home. Just nine minutes later, Montoliu Lobo blasted a perfect feed from Hernandez to score his fourth goal of the year, which was the eventual game-winner for the Bears. Hernandez got into the goal column in the 77th minute, his third goal of the season. All of his goals have also come at home.

Catawba scored their only goal of the game in the 86th minute from Simone Trentin, but it was too late for the Indians. Overall, the Bears outshot the Indians 16-10, with nine of those shots coming on goal. Juan Basabe made three saves for LR.

LR avenges a 3-2 loss at home last year to the Indians. The Bears have won seven out of the last eight matchups in the series. Before the 2021 game, Catawba’s last win in the series came in 2013. LR finishes the regular season 4-2-1 at home.

Eight Lenoir-Rhyne players celebrated their final regular season home game: Jaime Poza, Xavi Moya, Miguel Montano, Dani Fernandez, Nicolas Bohigues, Juan Hoyos, Luis Hernandez and Carles Montoliu Lobo.

The Bears are 9-4-2 overall, 6-4-1 in the South Atlantic Conference. With the win and Limestone’s loss at Mars Hill, Lenoir-Rhyne has secured the No. 4 seed in the SAC Tournament. Catawba is the No. 5 seed, and these two teams will have a rematch on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Hickory. The winner will play the winner of the 1 vs. 8 game, which is Wingate vs. Mars Hill. The Bears will host a SAC Tournament game for the third year in a row.