BRISTOL, Tenn. – King College earned its first ever win as a member of Conference Carolinas in school history behind a hat trick by senior Tom Winspear. The Tornado held off a late charge by Lees-McRae for a 4-3 win at Parks Field, Wednesday evening.
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Winspear (Yarm, England) tallied three goals against the Bobcats in the fourth, 45th and 74th minute of the match. His final score proved to be the eventual game-winning goal, done so via a penalty kick. His goals were his first of the season.
The game proved to be a physical match in what is quickly brewing into a conference rivalry between the two teams. A total of six yellow cards and one red card were distributed between the two teams. Joshua Feener (Mt. Juliet, Tenn.) earned an exit after the two teams were involved in a scuffle following a drive into the King defensive zone.
The Tornado played much of the latter part of the game down a man after Feener's ejection and held on just long enough for the victory. Up 4-3, Lees-McRae put the pressure on and spent much of the last few minutes of the match in King territory. Tornado keeper Patrick Milfeld (Dallas, Texas) was tested by shots on goal six times in the second half, making four saves and coming up with a crucial stop with just seconds remaining.
With the seconds dwindling, the Bobcats launched a deep ball into the Tornado defensive zone. Milfeld made a crucial decision to come off the line and challenge the lone Lees-McRae forward to the ball. With four seconds remaining, Milfeld sprinted to the top of the box and dove toward the loose ball and cradled it while colliding with a Bobcat player. With the ball in hand, Milfeld and the Tornado watched the final seconds tick down, leading to the final horn and the team's first Conference Carolina victory.
"It is always great to win a conference game," said Head Coach Louis Thorpe. "We are the unknown team [in the conference]. For us to have a win against them [Lees-McRae] is always good! It was a good game against a very good team."
Winspear's game-winner came on a penalty kick he was awarded after being taken down in the box with just under 17 minutes to go. The senior went one-on-one with the Bobcat goalkeeper and beat him to the lower left corner of the net.
Milfeld made a key stop facing a penalty kick by David Palmer that salvaged the King victory. In the 17th minute and King leading 2-0 at the time, Palmer went for penalty kick against Milfeld. Following the shooter, Milfeld dove to his left and blocked the shot away with an extended hand
King scored the game's first goal just 3:44 into the game when Winspear got out in front of the net and received a pass from Sam Nicol (Midlothians, Scotland) from an odd angle. Winspear finished the nicely placed pass with a strike to the right side of the net.
Following a goal off the head of Bobcat midfielder David Palmer, King ended the half with their third goal off the foot of Winspear. With less than thirty seconds to play before the half, the senior found himself deep in the Lees-McRae zone. After beating the defense, Winspear took a well-placed shot that beat Bobcat keeper Thomas Rusling to his right.
"It's going to be entertaining to watch us play. If you watch us play, you are going to have fun," said Thorpe.
Lees-McRae (3-2-0) was voted to finish second in the Conference Carolinas coaches' preseason poll and now falls to 1-1 in conference play. King (1-2-1, 1-1-0) not only earns its first win of the season but also its first win as a full member of Conference Carolinas.
The Tornado will continue with its conference schedule, playing its next three opponents on the road. Their next match will be played on Sept. 17 against Mount Olive at 5:00 p.m. They then follow with games at Erskine and Coker before returning home on Oct. 1 to host St. Andrews.