September 22, 2007

Bobcats Claw Bulldogs

Banner Elk, NC--The Lees-McRae Bobcats soccer team cruised to a 5-0 win over Barton College Saturday evening, improving their record to 7-1-1, (3-1 Conference Carolinas). The Bulldogs fall to 2-6-1, (0-3-1).

On the attack from the opening whistle, the Bobcats wasted little time in gaining momentum, testing Bulldogs keeper Matt Coble early. In the fifth minute, Lee Squires (Sheffield, England) put the Bobcats on the board by finishing a tic-tac-toe passing play through the box with Matt Lacey (Norwich, England) and Berin Boracic (Orlando, FL). Continually generating quality scoring opportunities after achieving the early lead, Coble would keep his team in the game, picking up a handful of saves before the game was thirty minutes old. However the Bobcats attack would continue to pressure as Squires showed his scoring prowess once again, finishing a cross from Kyle McGimsey (Plant City, FL). McGimsey would utilize his speed to take his defender wide down the sideline, serving Squires a perfect ball to redirect after gaining a step on his man. The Bulldogs would tighten up things defensively, getting to halftime with the Bobcats holding onto the two goal lead.

In the second, Squires would complete the natural hat trick in the 62nd minute, his second three goal performance of the season as well as the freshman's career. One-on-one with his defender, Squires made his move to the left, drawing the goalkeeper and finding the open net to the far right side. Five minutes later, Bobby Layburn (Centennial, CO) scored his second of the year after being set up in front of Coble by Gary Challinor (Worksop, England) and Anthony Mantegani (Hendersonville, TN). Jarrett Fleharty (Mocksville, NC) would close out the scoring for the Bobcats in the 83rd minute connecting on a corner kick by Logan Linton (Cocoa, FL) with a running header.

"I was very pleased with the level of performance and the professionalism our team showed in front of a fantastic crowd of support tonight," commented Head Coach Chris Whalley. "We played well across the board for much of the game, and were able to take care of a potentially dangerous Barton team. "

"Squigie, (Lee Squires), finished extremely well. It's good to see him back in his groove after having some hard luck finding the back of the net for a couple games."

Squires' (pictured top left) three goals tie him with Boracic for the conference lead with nine. After starting the year with five goals in three games, Squires went four games without a goal before snapping the drought against Limestone in a 1-0 win Wednesday.

Boracic also registered two assists to give him the conference lead in that category with five, while Fleharty's tally was the first of his collegiate career.

Coble finished with nine saves while Bobcats starter Sean Paradise (North Point, FL) registered one before giving way to Tom Courtney (Newcastle, FL) in the 71st minute. Courtney held the fort and kept the shutout intact, facing a pair of shots.

The Bobcats will be back in action when defending Conference and Regional Champion Queens University visits Tate Field for a 7:30pm kickoff Monday, September 24th.