BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Freshman Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) recorded her first collegiate hat trick on Saturday to lead the Lees-McRae College women's soccer team to a 5-0 win over North Greenville University in Conference Carolinas play at Tate Field.
Lees-McRae (3-2, 3-0 CC) posted its third straight clean sheet in conference play, outshooting North Greenville (2-3, 1-1 CC) by a 34-1 margin, including a 16-0 advantage in the first half. Thornton tallied the first treble of her career, swelling her season total to five goals, which is tied for the team lead with sophomore MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) who pushed her goal-scoring streak to three matches with a tally of her own.
Senior Mary Dorn (Shallotte, N.C.) posted her first goal of the season for the Bobcats, while Allyson Titsworth (Holmes Beach, Fla.) added a pair of assists. Senior Jessica O'Leary (Millbury, Mass.) also added an assist, while Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) played the full 90 minutes between the pipes to earn her second clean sheet of the season.
Thornton put the Bobcats on the board late in the 18th minute, taking a perfect lead pass from O'Leary on the flank and delivering a masterful finish past the keeper to give LMC an early 1-0 lead. Dorn doubled the advantage midway through the 33rd minute, lacing a free kick from 40 yards distance past the keeper to push the lead to 2-0.
Thornton notched her second of the day in the 40th minute, accepting a pass from Titsworth at the top of the area and delivering a well-placed finish into the lower left corner of the net to send the Bobcats into the interval with a 3-0 advantage.
The Bobcats maintained the three-goal margin until the early moments of the 69th minute, when Thornton intercepted a pass in North Greenville's defensive third and beat the keeper with a brilliant left-footed finish from the top of the area. Sullivan tallied the final goal of the match at the death of the 80th minute, delivering a perfect finish into the back of the net following a well-placed through ball by Titsworth.
Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Monday as the Bobcats travel to Jefferson City, Tenn. to take on NCAA Division II Southeast Region foe Carson-Newman College in a 6 p.m. matchup.
- LMC -