Falcons down Lees-McRae in men’s soccer opener

FROM STAFF REPORTS

In a battle of defending conference champions, defending Peach Belt Conference tournament champion University of Montevallo defeated four-time defending Conference Carolinas champion Lees-McRae 1-0 on the road in Banner Elks, N.C., in the opening match of the 2011 season Sept. 1.

The lone goal came on the first shot of the season for the Falcons, who were ranked No. 19 in the preseason National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division II poll. Sophomore Ricky Davey, a transfer from Appalachian State University, took advantage of a poor clearance and buried a shot inside the far post past the Bobcats’ goalkeeper.

Montevallo sophomore goalkeeper Brendan Ledgewaye continued his strong play in goal with three saves as he picked up his first shutout of the season and 10th overall in his career.

The starting back line of Gary O’Neill, Nick Saboe, Mike Rinzema and Vance Curro, a Spain Park High School graduate, combined to allow just three shots on goal.

The Falcons tallied just three shots on goal as well, but made the first shot of the season count as Davey scored just 7:54 into the game to give the Falcons (1-0) a 1-0 lead, which they held the rest of the way.

Junior Shane Howard, an Old Dominion University transfer, led the Falcons with three shots, including one on goal. Davey and freshman Giuliano Frano had two shots each.

The Falcons return to action Saturday, Sept. 3 at noon as they take on Milligan College in the final match at the Lees-McRae tournament.