MARS HILL, N.C. – Two goals in the last five minutes of play from seniors Sindre Welo (Trondheim, Norway) and Jules Gabbiadani (York, England) pushed the Carson-Newman men's soccer team (4-1-1, 2-1 SAC) past the Mars Hill Lions (2-4, 1-2 SAC) Wednesday night at Ammons Family Athletic Complex and Meares Stadium.
The Eagles tallied three second half goals to overcome a 2-1 halftime deficit to knock off the Lions for the first time in three contests.
Gabbiadani's game-winner in the 88th-minute was the latest game-winning goal by a player in the Blue and Orange since Lukas Jokich's 90th-minute tally last season against Anderson.
"The boys were fantastic for the whole 90 minutes, even when they trailed 3-2. They were in the same spot last week and we lost 3-2. Tonight, they preserved and fought for the win. Coming into a place like Mars Hill is never easy to win and we were able to make the comeback and get the three points. This team tonight was reminiscent of Carson-Newman sides of the past," coach Richard Moodie said.
Junior Marius Staalby (Trondheim, Norway) opened the scoring in the 20th-minute after the Norwegian cleaned up a rebound from Mars Hill keeper Connor Talbot; Talbot made the initial save on a shot from freshman Thibault Mathorez (Graces, France), but Talbot allowed the rebound to trickle to the left side of the net and Staalby knocked his shot home for the early 1-0 Carson-Newman lead.
Mars Hill responded with two goals in 91 seconds to take a 2-1 lead .The first Lions' goal came from a header off the head of Amine Merdjett who take Robert Taylor's shot that bounced off the right post and headed home a goal into an empty net. Taylor added the second goal with a shot from 25 yards out that beat C-N goalkeeper Kavi Luchowa (London, England) to his left and gave Mars Hill the lead.
The Eagles tallied the equalizer in the 49th-minute off the head of Mathorez. Senior Lucas Siqueria (Sao Paulo, Brazil) sent a corner kick into the box that found the head of Mathorez and the Frenchman beat Talbot to knot the score at 2-2 early in the second half. The freshmen's goal was his first away from McCown Field and now has four scores on the year.
Merdjett added his second goal of the contest in the 67th-minute to retake the lead for Mars Hill. Merdjett took a pass from Stian Sanner and beat Luchowa to his left and tucked the shot into the net to give the Lions a 3-2 lead.
A foul in the 85th-minute set up a free kick from 35-yards out and Welo (Trondheim, Norway) stepped to take the shot. Welo curled his shot towards the left side of the net and the ball curled in for Welo's second free kick goal of the year and tied the contest at 3-3. The senior now has seven career goals that have tied or won a game for C-N.
Four minutes later, Gabbiadani capped the comeback with a one-time shot that beat Talbot to his left and found the back of the net to give the Eagles a 4-3 win. The ball bounced to Gabbiadani at the edge of the six-yard box and the transfer from the University of Charleston (W. Va.) booted his shot home. The late score is the first for the Englishman in his career in the Blue and Orange.
Mars Hill outshot Carson-Newman 28 to 26 and the Lions put 14 of their shots on goal, while the Eagles were only able to place 11 shots on frame. Mathorez led C-N with six shots and Siqueira had five. Luchowa faced 14 shots and made 11 saves and picked up his fourth win of the year in goal.