GREENWOOD – The Lander men's soccer team rallied from a 2-1 first half deficit with four unanswered goals as the Bearcats topped Chowan in the first ever meeting between the two programs on a rainy afternoon at Van Taylor Stadium.
"Obviously, Chowan's a good team and we knew it was going to be tough," said head coach Lee Squires. "We needed to win the physical battle first and we didn't do that in the first half. We made a couple of errors and they took their goals really well. We showed a little bit of character and had a littlbe bit of luck to get back in it. In the second half, we started to move the ball better and eventually found a way through. We're 1-0 and that was the goal. Last year we were 1-3, so this feels much better."
Lander improved to 1-0 on the year, while Chowan fell to 0-1. The win for the Bearcats marked their ninth consecutive victory at Van Taylor Stadium. Lander has not lost a home match since September 4, 2016.
After Denis Roule put Chowan up a goal in the 18th minute, Lander answered with their first score of the year. After an attack from the Bearcats resulted in a foul inside the box, Jordan Skelton knotted the score on a penalty kick at the 22:49 mark.
Chowan responded just over two minutes later on a lengthy pass down the sideline from James Scott to Lee Wattam, who scored to put Chowan ahead 2-1. However, Lander pulled even in the 35th minute, as Sinclaire Sandy curled a pass into the box and George Knight headed it home to tie the score at 2-2.
The Bearcats claimed their first lead of the afternoon in the second half when another foul in the box led to Jordan Skelton's second converted penalty kick of the day, this one at the 69:20 mark. The two goals for Skelton marked a career high for the Bearcat captin.
Elliott Chadderson made four saves for Chowan, while Dean Cowdroy made two for the Bearcats.
Lander travels to Lenoir-Rhyne on Sunday for a 7:00 p.m. non-conference matchup.