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Mars Hill strikes in second half for 1-0 win over Pioneers

Mars Hill strikes in second half for 1-0 win over Pioneers

MARS HILL, N.C. --- Peter Plougmand scored midway through the second half to give Mars Hill University a 1-0 victory over Tusculum University in South Atlantic Conference men's soccer action Wednesday night at Meares Stadium.

Brennan Whalen made all three of his saves in the first half for the Lions (4-1-2, 1-0-1 SAC), who had just two shots on goal in the match. Both teams were credited with 14 shot attempts, with nearly all off target, as the Pioneers (0-5-1, 0-3-0 SAC) were blanked for the third straight match by identical 1-0 scores.

Mars Hill had the first three shot attempts of the match, including one in the first 15 seconds that went wide by Kevonte Willoughby-Williams. Tusculum's first shot attempt came in the 14th minute, but Asbjorn Saevik fired wide from 15 yards.

The first shot on goal came by Tusculum off a header by Luis De La Fuente in the 19th minute from 10 yards, which was knocked wide by Whalen. Michele Di Miele would put a free kick on goal in the 24th minute that was stopped by Whalen.

Neither team would have a shot attempt for more than 12 minutes, and the next shot on goal would by with just over two minutes left in the half when the Pioneers' Cristobal Morales would send a one-hopper to Whalen from 30 yards.

Mars Hill's only shot on goal in the opening half came with just under a minute remaining, as Braxton Robinson rolled a shot from 25 yards to be scooped by Tusculum's Bruno De Freitas for his only save of the night.

In the second half, the Pioneers would have a flurry of chances in the first 15 minutes, but shots from Morales, Linus Salomonsen, Di Miele and Pedro Concheso would go off target. Concheso had a wide-open look off a long cross from Saevik in the 56th minute, but his one-timer went just over the crossbar from the top of the 6.

Plougmand would give the Lions a 1-0 lead at 62:20 as gained possession at the top of the Tusculum box and slipped a shot under De Freitas for his seventh goal of the season.

Mars Hill nearly added an insurance goal three minutes after Plougmand's tally, when Williams-Willoughby fed a cutting Jorge Perez Prada at the near post, but his shot rang off the woodwork.

Tusculum would have two chances in the final 20 minutes, both off set pieces. A corner kick with 6 1/2 minutes remaining was sent wide of the target by Di Miele, and a free kick from 30 yards with just under a minute to play found its way into Whalen's possession.

The Pioneers had a 3-1 edge in corner kicks in the match, and were called for 11 fouls to 10 by the Lions. Tusculum was shown two of the three cautions in the contest, both in the final 30 minutes.

Tusculum will return home to face Catawba on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Pioneer Field. The Indians scored late in the first half and made it stand in a 1-0 win over Wingate on Wednesday night, the sixth straight victory for Catawba and third without a loss in SAC play.

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