No. 10 Bearcats hold off West Alabama for 1-0 home victory


No. 10 Bearcats hold off West Alabama for 1-0 home victory:

The 10th-ranked Lander men’s soccer team got a goal from Thibault Chretien in the 65th minute and posted its sixth consecutive shutout to earn a 1-0 win over West Alabama on Monday night at Van Taylor Stadium.

The Bearcats (8-0-1) tied a program record by holding their sixth opponent in a row without a goal as West Alabama (4-4-1) attempted just four shots on the evening. Lander has not allowed a goal in its last 588:53 of action. Only the 2013 team, which held opponents scoreless for the first 619:08 of the season, has posted a longer streak.

“I thought we deserved the result on the night,” said head coach Lee Squires. “West Alabama is a very, very good team, very strong and very physical. In the first half, it was more a matter of containing them. This is our third game in six days and that’s very demanding on the players. Our best pattern of play all night, we scored from, and we got a clean sheet on the other end. I’m just really proud of the boys to come through that amount of games in a short period of time with three clean sheets.”

Lander held a 9-2 advantage in shots in the first half and nearly grabbed the lead before halftime as Oakley Hanger’s last-second shot attempt found the back of the net, but was waved off by the officials.

Deadlocked in the 65th minute, the Bearcats broke through when Jamie North sent a pass arcing from the far sideline to the near post, where Thibault Chretien headed it in for his first goal of the season.

The Tigers threatened to find the equalizer late, but Jacob Withers stonewalled the attack with back-to-back saves in the 83rd minute to preserve the shutout.

Lander returns to Peach Belt Conference play on Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. as the Bearcats face Young Harris at Van Taylor Stadium in a battle of the league’s top teams.

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