The Flames will be seeking to advance to the semifinal round when they face No. 1-seeded Fresno Pacific in the final round of pool play Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Lee wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard. Quade Marinell took an assist from David Perez and put the Flames on top for good with only 17 seconds gone off the clock. “That is about as good of a start as we can have in a national tournament,” said coach Paul Furey, who was extremely pleased with his team’s effort. “We talked about an early goal, but 17 seconds in was a huge boost for us to go up 1-0.”
Lee’s second score came in the 15th minute. Perez was fouled in the box and Chevon Roberts stepped up and nailed a penalty kick.
With the defense continuing to dominate the club from Oklahoma City, the margin grew to 3-0 as Perez delivered a perfect corner kick to Gabe Franco who headed the ball into the back of the net. “David (Perez) had a special game — a great goal, and he drew a penalty kick,” praised Furey.
Lee’s only score of the second half came when Perez cut past the keeper on a through. Roberts got credit for the assist.
“We played with a lot of maturity today,” added Furey. “We took quality shots, got good goals, and we kept the ball very well. We managed the game when we got the lead and we never looked back.
The Flames took only nine shots, but six were on target and four went in the back of the net. Mid-America had 12 shots, but put just three on goal. Keeper Tom Halsall had three saves in the win. Tyler McIntosh had two in the loss.
“It was a great start, but it is all about how we finish the tournament.” The victory moves the Flames to 12-4-5 overall. Mid-America Christian drops out of the tournament at 11-9-1.