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Northern Kentucky (5-3-5, 2-1-1)
Lipscomb (7-6-1, 3-2-0)
10/19/2013 | Nashville, Tenn. | Attendance: 374
Saturday, October 19, 2013
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Riding a three-game win streak, the Lipscomb men’s soccer team was defeated by Northern Kentucky 2-1 on a cool Saturday night at the Lipscomb Soccer Complex.
With the loss, Lipscomb fell to 7-6-1, 3-2-0 in conference play. NKU improved to 5-3-5, 2-1-1.
NKU struck early in the fourth minute when Cian McDonald found the net off a set piece to put the Norse on top 1-0. It was McDonald’s second score of the season.
“The first goal we let up was just unfortunate,” coach Charles Morrow said. “Our response to that early goal was a key in the game. We kind of let it get away from us for a little bit.”
At the 12:06 mark, NKU found success again when Brendan Murphy dribbled to the left side of the box before spinning around and putting the ball into the right net to extend the Norse lead to 2-0.
“Early goals in a game changes how the game is played,” Morrow said. “We have to respond better than we did tonight.”
After being pressured by the Norse defense and failing to get good looks early on, the Bisons finally began to open the game up midway through the first period.
Looking to get his team on the board, Omar Djabi found himself in a great position to score but struck the ball off the right post.
Moments later, Luke Gearin received a corner kick and missed high on a header that flew just over the crossbar.
With good scoring opportunities coming available, the Bisons seemed to be a little unlucky in finding the net and the first period ended with NKU up 2-0.
Whatever Morrow said to his squad at halftime got them going as they kept constant pressure on the Norse defense for the entire second period.
The Purple and Gold finally scored when Djabi took a free kick from the left sideline and placed it high in the air, only to fall just in front of the net. Luke Gearin leaped and put a header in the net to bring the Bisons to within one goal at the 77:25 mark.
It was Gearin’s fourth goal of the season and Djabi’s third assist.
With the clock ticking away, Lipscomb continued to find itself with scoring chances but failed to connect on an equalizer. Perhaps no miss hurt as bad as when Reece Holcombe took a ball in the box with his back to the goal. He spun to his left for a clear look, but the ball hit the right post and bounced out.
“The second half was a tremendous effort,” Morrow said. “We were a bit unfortunate to come away with only one goal. I was certain we would tie it up or win in regulation and we just could not find that second goal.
“There are some key moments to look back on where we could have made better decisions.”
The Bisons would not get another attempt and the horn sounded with a 2-1 NKU victory.
“The good news is we are still in contention for second place in the conference,” Morrow said. “I don’t think this was a loss that is crushing, but it definitely hurts.”
Lipscomb outshot its opponent 17-14 and had a clear advantage in corner kicks, 8-2.
Micah Bledsoe added to his save total with five grabs, giving him 51 for the year.
Up next for Lipscomb is USC Upstate. The Bisons will hit the road for Spartanburg, S.C. next weekend for a matchup on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m.