Squires hat trick paces Bobcats past Knights, 7-1

Box score

LAURINBURG, N.C. --- Lee Squires (Sheffield, U.K.) tallied a hat trick, and Luke Perry (Cheshire, U.K.) dished out a season-high four assists to pace the Lees-McRae College men's soccer team to a 7-1 win over St. Andrews Presbyterian College on Saturday in Conference Carolinas action.

Lees-McRae (10-3-2, 6-0-1 CC) outshot the Knights (1-14, 0-8 CC) by a 34-8 margin, including an 18-4 advantage in the second half as the Bobcats unleashed a six-goal barrage in the final 45 minutes. Squires paced the Bobcat attack with his 10th, 11th, and 12th goals of the season to vault into the conference lead. Perry posted four assists as six Bobcats recorded multi-point afternoons.

David Palmer (Gateshead, U.K.) chipped in with one goal and two assists, while Jamie Bladen (Yorkshire, U.K.) recorded a goal and an assist of his own. Sam Kennedy (The East End, U.K.) and Luke Duffy (Wakefield, U.K.) each tallied a goal, while Kyle Luterbach (Hickory, N.C.) chipped in with an assist.

Squires paced the Bobcats with 12 shots, including five on frame, while Palmer and James Galvani (High Wycombe, U.K.) each sent seven attempts towards goal on the afternoon. Thomas Rusling (Sheffield, U.K.) and Tyler Gibson (Gastonia, N.C.) each played a half in goal for the Bobcats, as Gibson tallied a save en route to his first career win.

The match remained scoreless until the closing moments of the 32nd minute, when Squires broke the deadlock with his first goal of the match from Palmer and Perry to give LMC a 1-0 lead. St. Andrews' Marbin Escobar (Jacksonville, Fla.) brought the Knights back on terms late in the 42nd minute, striking a free kick from just outside the area into the top corner to send the match into the interval level at 1-1.

Lees-McRae wasted little time in the second half, taking a 2-1 lead in the 48th minute when Squires notched his second goal of the match, sending a header into the back of the net off a Luterbach cross for what would prove to be the deciding strike. Kennedy pushed the margin to 3-1 early in the 56th minute, slotting home the finish off a free kick from Bladen for his second goal of the season.

Bladen would stretch the margin to 4-1 at the 71:00 mark, delivering his first goal of the campaign off a cross from Perry. Perry recorded two more assists within the following eight minutes, setting up Palmer and Squires for their first and third strikes of the afternoon, respectively, to push the margin to 6-1. Duffy added a late goal in the 90th minute, driving home his first tally of the season after a brilliant pass from Palmer.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Tuesday when the Bobcats travel to Due West, S.C. for a 7 p.m. conference matchup with Erskine College.

- LMC -