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Raul Cañas
Raul Cañas scored his first collegiate goal late in the draw against Mars Hill.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Once Again, Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Uses Late Match Heroics to Tie Mars Hill

For the second time in as many home conference matchups, the Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team found a last-minute goal to get a more favorable result. This time around, it was Raul Cañas who converted on his first collegiate goal to give the Bears a 2-2 draw to Mars Hill.

The freshman midfielder who came on as a late substitute made his way inside the 18-yard box after the Bears were desperately running out of time. After a throw in from the north side of the pitch, it appeared to graze off the left foot of Ivan Rubio, which set the Spaniard up for the scoring chance.

After going down 1-0 early to an Adrian Martina penalty kick, Mars Hill swung the momentum in the second half by scoring two goals in a span of 20 minutes. While it looked like the Bears saw all three points slip away, Cañas proved to be the hero and gave LR its second draw in a row.

Cañas’ goal was the third goal in conference play that came in the final three minutes of regulation. Martina had the 90′ winner against Tusculum (Sept. 9) while Colton Eliasen scored in the 88′ against Anderson (Sept. 20).

Martina drilled in a penalty kick for the second time this season. The graduate student is 2-2 this season from the spot.

Based on the shot total, this match was one of the most evenly played matches this season for the Bears. LR had 14 shots including four on goal while Mars Hill had 12 shots with four being placed on net.

Despite coming out of halftime with a 1-0 lead, LR played much better on the offensive side of the ball with nine shots and three corner kicks. The Bears had only five shots and one corner in first half.

Although Mars Hill had one of the highest counts of yellow cards in Division II, the Lions were only shown one yellow card in tonight’s match while the Bears were shown two bookings.

Lenoir-Rhyne continues to lead the all-time series, 20-19-4. With this result, LR snapped their two-match losing streak to Mars Hill. This is the first time the two programs have played to a draw since Oct. 14, 2009, which was a 1-1 tie in Hickory, N.C. With a tie, it is now four straight matches that were decided by a goal or less between these two programs.

This match marked the first time that these two programs each scored multiple goals in a single contest since LR’s 3-2 win at Mars Hills, N.C. on Oct. 15, 2000.

The Bears are 1-2-3 overall, 1-1-2 in the South Atlantic Conference. Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team will begin its longest road trip of the season, a four-game stretch, starting on Wednesday, Sept. 27, with a non-conference dual against Francis Marion. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. from Florence, S.C.