The shots were almost identical, 18 Blazers, 17 Flames and Belhaven had 11 shots on goal compared to eight for Lee. However, the final tally on the scoreboard read 3-1 and gave the unbeaten host an opportunity to climb even higher in the NAIA coaches poll on Tuesday.
"We had a very physical match today in some tough conditions," remarked Lee coach Paul Furey after the defeat. "We all need to dig a bit deeper to beat top-ranked teams, starting with the coaches. We're disappointed but we'll be better for the next match."
Belhaven owned a 1-0 margin at the half when David Majors scored on an assist from Loic Malani. The Blazers increased the lead to 2-0 in the 50th minute when Guiherme Sousa knocked in a goal on the first of two assists by Edwardo Cruz.
Lee battled back to carve the margin to 2-1 on Josh Ball's third goal of the weekend. Shoval Failer was credited with the assist. The Blazers proceeded to put the contest away when Will Monsour's shot sailed into the back of the net.
Keeper Carl Blundee helped preserve the win for Belhaven with five saves. Tom Halsall had three saves in the defeat.
The Flames (4-5-1, 1-3 SSAC) will be back on the road next Wednesday, traveling to Mount Vernon, Ga., and facing another SSAC foe in Brewton-Parker College.
Flames 2, Wm. Carey 1
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Junior Josh Ball headed in an assist from freshman Travis Kiger at the 6:28 mark in overtime to give Lee an impressive 2-1 SSAC road victory over William Carey University on Friday night.
It was the combination of Ball and Kiger that proved to be too much for the host Crusaders. The twosome hooked up to deadlock the hard fought soccer match at 1 with only 11 minutes remaining in regulation. William Carey scored 29 minutes deep into the second half, but the Flames continued to apply the pressure until Ball's tally sent the tussle to OT.
William Carey drops to 5-3-1 overall and 2-1 in the SSAC.
"It was an important win for us tonight," said coach Paul Furey. "Josh (Ball) came up big with those two quality goals. Once again we rallied from behind. Travis (Kiger) came off the bench and played well for us. He gave us a great service in OT to produce the winner."
Lee outshot the host Crusaders 22-11. The Flames had seven shots on goal and the Crusaders six. Tom Halsall was outstanding in goal with five saves. William Carey keeper Dominic Colman was almost as tough in recording five saves.
Tyler Szura registered the William Carey goal on an assist from Joaquin Serrano.