BRISTOL Tenn. – The Pfeiffer University men’s soccer team (2-3-1, 0-1 Conference Carolinas) fell to King (1-3-1, 1-0), 1-0 in the conference opener on a rainy Saturday afternoon at Parks Field. Thomas Dube scored the lone goal, in the 65th minute, to give King the victory.
Pfeiffer keeper Nicolas Dulac was tested early in the first have but came up with back-to-back saves to keep the Tornados off the scoreboard. In the 21st minute, Aldo Ramirez took the Falcons first shot of the match and he followed that up less than two minutes later with a second shot that missed wide. After two yellow cards were given to King, Dammy Balogun had a shot but he couldn’t connect. The half ended with a Pfeiffer corner kick by captain Chandler Ligas after Seth Dey’s shot was blocked but the Falcons ran out of time as horn sounded. Pfeiffer held a 4-2 lead in shots and took the only corner kick of the half.
Simon Leslie and Jaime Sanclemente each took shots within the first five minutes of the second half, but Leslie’s was blocked by the King defense and Sanclemente’s was saved by Tornados goalkeeper Kari Sveinsson. Following that attack, King was able to take its first shot in 40 minutes of game action, but Dulac would make another save. King’s offense became more aggressive, as they took five shots in less than eight minutes, with the final one giving them the 1-0 advantage. A Pfeiffer defender went to clear the ball but missed on his attempt and Dube benefited. He took the ball on a breakaway and slid it past Dulac in the 65th minute for his first goal of the season. Pfeiffer began to mount a comeback and had back-to-back corner kicks. The King defense turned away the Falcons attempts and Pfeiffer’s final shot of the game was blocked.
“It was an even game that turned on a game-changing mistake,” said Head Coach Bob Reasso. “We have competed at a very high level every game this year but it’s unfortunate to lose in this fashion.”
Dulac was outstanding in goal for Pfeiffer and was credited with six saves. He made a bunch of critical saves and kept the Falcons in the game. Pfeiffer was also forced to play without out dynamic freshmen playmaker Nathan Regis for most of the afternoon as he went off with an injury.
The match statistics shows how evenly the game was played. King held a 9-8 lead in shots, with the Falcons having a 6-5 advantage in corner kicks. Pfeiffer was whistled for eight fouls and King was called for seven.
The Falcons return to action on Wednesday afternoon when they travel to Gaffney, SC to take on Limestone with kick off slated for 4 p.m. The match will be the final of five straight matches away from Misenheimer for the Falcons. Including three pre-season, Pfeiffer will play nine of its first 10 matches away from home.
“Road games are always challenging and it’s tough to have that many in a row to start a season and an academic year,” said Reasso who is in his first year as the head coach. “At this level, winning on the road is never easy so the schedule has been difficult on us.”