Senior Sias Reyneke started the Flames off early scoring at the 7:14 mark in the first half. From there, the Flames never looked back scoring a 2-0 victory over the Olivet Nazarene University Tigers in the opening match of the Lee Olive Garden Invitational.
Reyneke scored the first goal on a beautiful cross from Sebastian Vallejo . Reyneke slammed the ball into the back of the net passed the outstretched arms of the Tiger keeper.
After the first 45 minutes, the Flames held a narrow 1-0 lead. However, early in the second half Lee extended the margin on a header from junior Josh Ball. This time it was Reyneke providing the cross, allowing Ball to head it home for a 2-0 advantage.
From there, the defense settled in and didn’t allow a shot on goal the entire match. Freshman keeper Tom Halsall recorded his first career shutout as the Flames were never really threatened.
“As a coach I couldn’t ask for more out of our home opener”, stated second-year coach Paul Furey. “The crowd was great and we used that support to jump out to a quick start. We talked about going up early and we were able to do that on a great service by Sebastain and finish from Sias.”
Furey also stated, “The defense was the storyline tonight not allowing a shot on goal and we limited them from any legitimate scoring opportunities. Tom was solid in goal and the backline played great and gave us a big boost.”
Furey noted that the challenge tomorrow will be tough, as they will battle Martin Methodist in the championship game of the Lee Olive Garden Invitational. The action gets under way at 6pm, followed by an awards presentation at 8pm.
Martin Methodist topped Montreat College in the opening game by a 4-0 margin. Montreat will take on Olivet Nazarene in the consolation match beginning at 3:30pm.