BANNER ELK, N.C. - Freshman Paco Cortez's game-winner in the 82nd minute catapulted the Pfeiffer men's soccer team (10-8-1) to an impressive upset victory over Lees McRae (9-7-1) on Tuesday evening. The win was the first in the Conference Tournament since the Falcons defeated Belmont Abbey in penalty kicks on Nov. 2, 2010.
Freshman Nathan Regis and senior Seth Dey accounted for the remaining goals for Pfeiffer, who won by a final score of 3-2. Dey and Aldo Ramirez were credited with assists on Vazquez's winner.
Nicolas Dulac earned the win in net, his ninth of the season, making six saves.
"It was a very hard fought game," said first year head coach Bob Reasso. "Not a lot of great soccer was played by either team, it was more about competing and heart and our guys came through in the end."
The Bobcats struck early, as Matthew Cureton scored just 2:14 into the match. Regis had the answer in the ninth minute as he put home a penalty kick to tie the score. Moments before the end of the first half, Dey controlled a failed clearing attempt and ripped a shot from 30 yards out into the far corner.
In the 67th minute, Jacob Copeland scored his first of the season, setting the stage for Cortez's heroics. Dey's throw in was deflected by Ramirez to the freshman who put his shot inside the far post for his second goal of the season.
Lees-McRae held a 19-15 advantage in shots and a 5-3 lead in corners.
The Falcons now march on to the semifinal round of the Conference Carolinas Tournament and take on Erskine at 7 p.m. on Friday night. The Falcons defeat the Flying Fleet 2-1 on Oct. 26.