Titsworth double lifts Bobcats over Saints, 2-1

BANNER ELK, N.C. --- Sophomore Ally Titsworth (Holmes Beach, Fla.) tallied the first brace of her collegiate career to lead the Lees-McRae College women's soccer team to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Limestone College in Conference Carolinas play on Wednesday evening at Tate Field.

Lees-McRae (8-3-1, 7-1 CC) controlled the run of play for the majority of the match, outshooting Limestone (7-4, 5-2 CC) by a 30-5 margin, including a 17-3 advantage in the first half.

Titsworth accounted for all of the Bobcats' scoring in the match, tallying a pair of unassisted goals as Kaitlyn Briggs (Oviedo, Fla.) posted a trio of saves between the pipes. Sarah Mahar (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Meagan Thornton (Millville, N.J.) paced the Bobcats with six and five shots, respectively, while MaryBeth Sullivan (Greensboro, N.C.) and Emily Jones (Leonardtown, Md.) each posted four attempts at goal.

Ashley Spanitz posted the lone goal of the night for the Saints, pacing the team with two shots as Gabriella Reid notched an assist. Tori Waddell recorded seven saves in the match for Limestone.

Lees-McRae nearly got off to a flying start in the eighth minute, when Sullivan won the ball off a goal kick and played it through to a streaking Mahar, whose skillful effort narrowly missed the right post. After the Saints forced a pair of stops from Briggs, Waddell made a tremendous diving save in the 21st minute to preserve the deadlock, parrying a glorious one-on-one chance from Thornton.

Titsworth would net the breakthrough in the 28th minute, collecting a loose ball in the box and blasting a strike off the diving keeper to give the Bobcats a 1-0 lead. The Bobcats continued to press the attack in search of a second over the final 15 minutes of the half, nearly doubling the advantage in the 33rd minute when Mahar's effort was pulled off the line and Jones' follow-up attempt was parried by Waddell.

Limestone came out of the interval with renewed effort, matching the Bobcats' pace in search of an equalizer. The Saints' determination would be rewarded midway through the 77th minute when Reid's cross rebounded off the keeper and fell to Spanitz, leaving the midfielder in perfect position to slot the finish into the bottom corner and level the match at 1-1.

The Bobcats countered quickly, pushing forward with a trio of tests for Waddell before Titsworth netted her second of the night just over five minutes from time, winning a ball at the top of the area and sending a high looping shot into the far corner to complete the brace.

Lees-McRae returns to the pitch on Monday when the Bobcats travel to Newberry, S.C. to take on Newberry College at 3 p.m. in non-conference action.

- LMC -