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Harri Rowe
Harri Rowe had the game winner for this contest.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team Moves on in SAC Tournament

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team has survived and advanced to the SAC Tournament Semi-Final round with a 2-1 victory over Catawba.

Despite being the No. 3 seed, LR was dealing with some suspensions as starting forwards Adrian Martina and Hector Nieto were unable to participate due to yellow card accumulation.

That did not seem to faze LR though as they jumped out to a hot start with two goals in the opening 45 minutes, scored by Colton Eliasen and Harri Rowe, respectively.

Following the break, Catawba came storming out of the gate with a 55th-minute goal by Salano Birch to bring the contest back within one. However, the Bears defense remained strong throughout the final 35 minutes to hold onto the one-goal win.

Now with back-to-back wins over Catawba in five days, LR makes it eight consecutive matches without a defeat and a second straight season of advancing to the SAC semifinals.

The shot distribution was a tale of two halves. LR won the first half, 8-3, but Catawba won the second half with a 12-6 advantage. For shots on goal, however, the Bears led the Indians with a 8-4 edge.

Harri Rowe picked up a second yellow card in the 88th minute, which left the Bears with 10 men for the final two minutes. Rowe will not be eligible to play for the semi-final match against Limestone on Friday, Nov. 10. Rowe led all players with a three-point performance. The junior had a free-kick goal in the 32nd minute and an assist on the Eliasen goal in the fifth minute.

Similar to the regular season finale, this contest was a physical match with 24 total fouls. Catawba led the category with 15 fouls of its own.

LR now leads the all-time series history, 23-22-4. 2023 was a very similar fate for Catawba as it was in 2022. Last year, the Indians lost to LR in the regular season finale on Oct. 26 and in the SAC Quarterfinal on Oct. 29. In 2023, Catawba lost to LR in the regular season finale on Nov. 1 and in the SAC Quarterfinal on Nov. 4. LR has now won four-straight matches and nine out of the last 10 matches over Catawba. LR improves to a 14-9-2 home record over Catawba.

The Bears have now reached the semi-final round of the SAC Men’s Soccer Tournament for three of the past four editions.

The Bears are 7-4-5, and were 6-2-3 in the South Atlantic Conference this season. The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team will travel to Matthews, N.C. for a semi-final contest against No. 2 seeded Limestone. The match is scheduled for a 8 p.m. kickoff from the Sportsplex at Matthews. The Saints defeated the Bears, 2-0, in their lone meeting back on Saturday, Sept. 16.