Women's Soccer

Lees-McRae punches first ticket to NCAA Tournament, will face Columbus State Friday

INDIANAPOLIS --- The Lees-McRae College women's soccer team has been selected to participate in the program's first-ever NCAA Division II women's soccer championship, announced NCAA officials Monday evening.

This fall has been a season of program-firsts for Lees-McRae (13-4-3), as the Bobcats are fresh off capturing the school's first outright Conference Carolinas regular season championship. The Bobcats also won the conference tournament title in dramatic fashion to earn the league's automatic bid, capturing the trophy after edging Belmont Abbey College in a penalty kick shootout.

Lees-McRae enters the tournament as the sixth seed in the Southeast Region and will face third-seeded Columbus State University (15-4-2) on Friday evening at 6 p.m. on the campus of second-seeded Lenoir-Rhyne University (17-2-0) in Hickory, N.C. The winner of Friday's match will advance to Sunday's second round contest against Lenoir-Rhyne.

North Georgia College & State University (15-2-3) is the fourth seed, and will square off against fifth-seeded Wingate University (16-3-0) on Friday on the campus of top-seeded Armstrong Atlantic State University (15-2-3). The winner of the North Georgia/Wingate matchup will advance to Sunday's second round contest against Armstrong Atlantic.

Lees-McRae has put together one of the best seasons in program history, posting an 11-1 record in league play to capture the Conference Carolinas regular championship for the first time since 2000. The Bobcats boost a potent offensive attack, entering the tournament ranked fourth in the nation in scoring offense, led by Conference Carolinas Freshman of the Year Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.), sophomore MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.), and seniors Vickie Rich (Arlington Heights, Ill.) and Brooke Santerre (Port Republic, Md.).

The Bobcats will return to the pitch on Friday when they take on third-seeded Columbus State in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on the Lenoir-Rhyne campus at 6 p.m. in Hickory, N.C.

- LMC -

Friday, November 11, 2011 (Lenoir-Rhyne University - Hickory, N.C.)
No. 6 Lees-McRae vs. No. 3 Columbus State, 6 p.m.
Sunday, November 13, 2011 (Lenoir-Rhyne University- Hickory, N.C.)
Lees-McRae/Columbus State vs. No. 2 Lenoir-Rhyne, 2 p.m.