Pair of last-minute goals lift Eagles over Wolves

Pair of last-minute goals lift Eagles over Wolves

VIDEO: Highlights

VIDEO: Stephen Lyons Interview

VIDEO: Nic Carsh Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Facing a tie for much of the second half, Carson-Newman used a two-goal spurt within the final 1:09 of regulation to take down Newberry, 3-1, on Saturday at McCown Field.

The win marks the first time in Carson-Newman (4-1, 2-0 South Atlantic Conference) coach Stephen Lyons' tenure that it has had to battle back for a win playing a man-down after a red card was issued to Collin Hensel (Spring Hill, Tenn.) in the 69th minute. C-N also extends its lead in the series with Newberry (3-2, 1-1 SAC) to a substantial 25-0-2 while also picking up its first 2-0 start in league action since 2014.

Josh Harris-James (Worcestershire, England) and Nic Carsh (Newberg, Ore.) proved to be difference makers off the bench with their goals book-ending a game-winner from Tobias Solem Karlsen (Kongsvinger, Norway) that came in the 89th minute.

Solem Karlsen's goal moves him into a tie for the most career game-winners in Carson-Newman history at 12, tying him with Dario Carrasco from the 2005-06 seasons. He has scored two such goals this season, the first coming in the season-opener at North Greenville on September 6.

"I just thought it was big players stepping into big moments," Carson-Newman coach Stephen Lyons said. "For Toby to hit that strike with just a few minutes left on the clock just shows what he is about and then for Nic to go on and seal his goal to seal it, it was big. The big thing today was certainly the impact the players coming off of the bench had."

In the 44th minute, Bill Hadam (Knoxville, Tenn.) sent a quick redirect to Carsh that was subsequently sent into the middle of the 18-yard box to an open Harris-James. He reacted quickly by sending a shot in off the side of his foot that hit off of the hand of Newberry's netminder Leroy Zeller and into the back of the net to give C-N a 1-0 lead heading into the half.

Ten minutes into the second half, Newberry answered on a curling shot from Troy Paul from beyond the top right of the 18-yard box. His arch hit into the top left corner, equalizing the match in the 56th minute, 1-1.

After the red card to Hensel, C-N was in the midst of its second-straight match of playing with just 10 Eagles on the field after Tony Saldana was booked with a red card in Wednesday's meeting with Lincoln Memorial. With just minutes left in regulation and a potential third tie in series history looming, it was Tobias Solem Karlsen (Kongsvinger, Norway) who found the break Carson-Newman needed most.

In the 89th minute, a foul just outside the penalty box set C-N up for a set piece on the left line of the box. His attempt went through two separate walls of Newberry defenders and curved directly into the right wall of the net, giving C-N a 2-1 lead with just 69 seconds remaining in regulation.

Carson-Newman was not done there.

With just 19 seconds left, a diving save from Bram Kaarsgaren (Den Bosch, The Netherlands) sent the ball flying back toward centerfield where a pack of Wolves, including Zeller, were gathered. Carsh got a piece of the ball off a bounce that sailed over Zeller, allowing the redshirt-sophomore to break away for an open goal dagger that gave C-N its final lead of the night, 3-0, and his second goal of the season.

Carsh's goal marked the first time since Oct. 11, 2017 that an Eagle scored in the final minute of regulation. The last to do so was Tom Read with one second remaining in a 3-1 loss against No. 7 Young Harris.

"This win really shows that we can fight back no matter what, through whatever circumstances, no matter what the adversity that we're up against is," Carsh said. "So, I think it's a great team win for us. It really brings us together."

Carson-Newman led wire-to-wire in shots at 19-7 while also holding the shots on goal advantage, 9-5. Five Eagles sent out multiple shots on the day, including Thaylan Silva (São Paulo, Brazil) who led everyone on the pitch with six shot attempts, four landing on frame.

The C-N attack forced Zeller into making six shots on the night. On the other end of the pitch, Kaarsgaren needed four throughout the meeting. They each did the brunt of their work in the second half since they were both forced to make a save apiece in the first 45 minutes of action.

Whistles blew for a second-straight match of 24 fouls on the night with eight total bookings, seven coming in the form of yellow cards. The cards administered throughout the game mark the most during a C-N match since eight were given in the match with Newberry on Oct. 24, 2018.

The homestand comes to a close on Wednesday in a tussle with the Tornado of King. That match will begin at 7:30 p.m. You can count on the Eagle Sports Network to bring you coverage through a live broadcast and live stats along with updates through @CNathletics on Twitter.

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