Nashville SC rides dominant second half to 2-0 win over Lipscomb

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Nashville SC extended its preseason unbeaten streak to four games Thursday with a 2-0 win over Lipscomb University on a windy, chilly afternoon in South Nashville, cruising to victory thanks to a goal and an assist by Martim Galvao.

A 50th-minute Ian McGrath goal was enough to cap a match dominated by the USL side, which controlled possession and fended off a handful of assertive counterattacks from a pesky Bisons squad.

Martin Galvao added an insurance goal in the 75th minute, skipping a shot along the ground and past the Bisons keeper to seal the match.

A team of Nashville reserves dictated possession against the college squad, controlling the midfield and opening up the defense, especially in the second half.

McGrath calmly headed home a free kick from Galvao from just outside the right side of the penalty area for the opener. It was the first goal of the preseason for the center back from Evansville.

Galvao found himself alone in space 25 minutes later and made no mistake with his shot from outside the area, sliding a shot with his right foot into the left side of the net.

The friendly was Nashville’s fifth of the preseason and second in Nashville, but marked the team’s first-ever match against a college team. Lipscomb won the ASun title last fall and advanced to the NCAA Tournament, where it lost in the first round.

Micah Bledsoe earned the start against his collegiate alma mater. Nashville’s third keeper negated a trio of first-half Lipscomb chances, including a last-gasp save from a crouch after poor back passes sent a Bison in on goal for the team’s lone shot of the first half.

Nashville controlled play in the first half, notching seven shots, two of them on target.

In the 42nd minute, Ropapa Mensah played a back-heel pass to himself and struck a straightforward right-footed effort that found the arms of the keeper.

Nashville’s most serious first-half chances both came on long through balls. In the 18th minute, Mensah charged into the box after a pass and went down following contact with the keeper. The referee ruled that the keeper got a piece of the ball and waved off Mensah’s penalty appeal.

In the 28th minute Alan Winn launched a beautiful run and outpaced the Lipscomb defender to get through on goal, but the referee whistled a foul on Winn after what seemed to be 50-50 contact.

Galvao overcame a lackluster first half with the assist and a goal scored.

Starters:

Keeper — Bledsoe

Defense — Reza, DeGraffenreidt, McGrath, Washington

MIdfield — Alvarado, McGrath, Howell, Galvao

Forward — Winn, Mensah

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