BELMONT, N.C. – The King University men's soccer team rallied with a late goal, but were unable to net the equalizer as the Tornado fell 2-1 to Belmont Abbey College in Conference Carolinas action.
Down 2-0 in the 85th minute, the Tornado (1-6-1, 1-2 CC) halved the deficit with a goal from Ryan Cobain. Off a Thomas Dube corner kick, Eli Carrasco crossed the ball into the box and Cobain was able to finish with a header. But the Crusaders (3-6, 1-3 CC) held off King for the final five minutes of the match to preserve their advantage and earn their first conference win of the season.
King put pressure on the Crusader defense early, with Dube forcing Belmont Abbey goalkeeper Kyle Searles to make a save just 12 seconds into the contest. But it was the Crusaders who would get on the board first. Belmont Abbey took three shots in as many minutes early in the first half, with Brice Nardozzi netting his first goal of the season in the 18th minute off a free kick.
The game remained scoreless throughout the remainder of the half, although both teams had solid chances to score. The Crusaders saw two 23rd-minute shots sail wide to the left in a 15-second span, while the Tornado had a shot from Chris Hicks saved and another from Cobain blocked within five seconds of each other in the 31st minute. Neither team was able to break through during the rest of the half, however, and Belmont Abbey took a 1-0 lead into the half.
Just five minutes into the second half of play, however, Belmont Abbey would stretch its lead to 2-0 when Liam Quinn headed in a corner kick from Mark Wallace.
Ryan Cobain nearly got the Tornado on the board in the 62nd minute, placing a shot on goal and forcing Searles to make a save. In all, Cobain took three shots, two of them on goal, and netted the Tornado's lone score of the match.
"It was a difficult result today," said head coach John Miglarese. "We missed too many scoring chances to deserve the win."
The Tornado were outshot 15-8 in a physical contest that saw 32 total fouls and four yellow cards. King will next take the field on Wednesday in a Conference Carolinas matchup at Erskine College.